So… I… Say… braised lamb shank with truffle cauliflower mash… Mamma Mia! Here I eat again!
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I’m going to assume you’re from another planet and have never heard of Mamma Mia or ABBA – but, chances are word has spread to a galaxy far, far away…
Sweden’s biggest cultural export (since this guy), ABBA, was a popular beat combo that took the Eurovision song contest (and the world) by storm in the 1970s. Inevitably, Mamma Mia!, a juke-box musical romantic comedy set on a Greek island followed in 1998 in London’s West End (which is still running) and spawned productions and tours around the world (including a long-running Broadway version). The film version, starring Meryl Streep and musical theatre legend Pierce Brosnan, is now 10 years old and its sequel, wittily titled Mamma Mia – Here We Go Again has just been announced. Unusually, there is also an official spin-off restaurant in Sweden where you can enjoy Greek food and the show at the same time, the concept of which this blog fully endorses!
Now, pay attention:
In the show, Thank You For The Music is sang by Sophie (the daughter of the island’s hotel-owner , Donna, who isn’t sure who Sophie’s father is – let’s just say, the lyrics “Mamma Mia – here she goes again” are in there for a reason) and her three potential fathers (whom were earlier identified by Sophie when she stole her mother’s diary, tracked down and secretly invited them to her wedding which they naturally attend because who wouldn’t accept an invitation from a stranger to a wedding abroad without question?) and persuades them not to tell her mother she invited them. SPOILER: Donna finds out in the very next scene.
This dish isn’t exactly Greek – but then again, neither is ABBA!
Heat some oil to a dutch oven (or a Le Creuset dish, as we like to say in the UK) and brown the lamb shanks well before setting aside. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and soften, along with carrots and herbs. Add the wine, stock and peppercorns and bring to the boil before returning the lamb to the pot and covering with the lid. Put the dish in a medium oven (160C Fan) for about 3 hours. Check the liquid levels in the last hour, topping up with a little water if needed. Set aside the meat and the carrots, discarding the herbs, and blitz the remaining liquid, onions and garlic to a smooth sauce.
For the cauliflower mash, chop up a large cauliflower (you can include the stalk but best to chop off the more fibrous outer layer). Cook in salted water until tender (4-5 mins) and drain well. Add the butter and cheese and reduce to a smooth purée (I used a stick blender). Check the seasoning and adjust, and add the truffle oil (if you have some to hand!).
So… I… Say.. Shank you for the music!