Thursday, March 3, 2011

shanks and chips

Dinner tonight was lamb shanks and chips, one of my favourite interpretations of meat and potatoes. I let the lamb shanks marinade overnight and the result was a flavourful, melt-in-your-mouth experience. The marinade included mock-wine (grape juice and red wine vinegar), thyme, bay leaves, two heads of garlic and peppercorns. Before braising in the oven, I browned the shanks after lightly dusting them with flour. I then roughly chopped 4 big onions and let them caramelize in the juices of the browned meat over very low fire. Replaced the shanks, poured over the remainder of the marinade, covered with foil then into a moderate/low oven for a couple of hours.

The chips are cooked in the Heston Blumenthal triple-cooked method. The result is a chip that is fluffy on the inside and glassy on the outside. Yes, glassy. Heston explains that the state of any material when it reaches this state, extremely crunchy and can shatter into small pieces. To me it is the only way to cook chips. It's worth the wait and isn't really as cumbersome as many of his other techniques. First you run them under cold water for about ten minutes, then boil until just cooked all the way through. Placed on a wire rack over a tray, the chips should be allowed to dry out until cooled. After a while, heat oil in a pan until you reach 130 degrees celsius. Fry the potatoes until they look dehydrated, a light skin will develop and they will turn slightly yellow. Repeat the drying process, this time in the fridge. Let them cool down and then take them out to get back to room temperature before finally frying once again at 190 degrees. Each of the frying processes must be carefully controlled because if the oil gets hotter than the temperatures stated above, the chips may burn.


  1. i tried the fries method above. loved em and the family did as well. will be doin em that way onwards :-)

  2. Glad to hear! I screwed up the first time I made them by putting far too many chips in the pan at the same time. i started cooking them in smaller batches and noticed that the temperature didn't fluctuate as much.