Guest Writer Starwalker’s Lamb Knuckle Stew…

This is Starwalker.  My sweet friend.  My one of a kind. 

Starwalker cooks like a dream and I’m always asking him to do guest writing on my blog which he never gets around to coz he’s always too busy (um) cooking (or playing 4 poker games simultaneously on-line).  So, when he finally let me know he’d put a piece together for my blog, I jumped for joy.  Except there was one small hitch: it was a MEAT dish and I don’t eat meat.  And I don’t post what I haven’t tried myself.  SO, I put forward the question to Starwalker:

Your food always rocks but I don’t post what I haven’t tried myself… and being a pesco-vege, how’m I going to get this right? Much love, Knucklebrain

What I didn’t mention is that Starwalker has an evil twin.  His response:   

Oh don’t be ridiculous – just say Guest writer recipe that you can’t try because you are vegetard but its brilliant nevertheless – or whatever!!!! and don’t ask for anymore!!!

Okay, so a little persuasion goes a long way!  Especially since his evil twin threatened very bad things indeed.  Anyhow, since I kinda love Starwalker and everything he’s ever cooked for me, how could I resist?

Here’s his Lamb Knuckle Stew recipe, as written by him, as cooked by him and to be honest, if I wasn’t such a pesco-vegetard, I would be devouring this dish (like his other less vegetard friends are actually doing, by the way):

Meat – there are two choices, lamb knuckle (shank) or oxtail. They have different qualities but perhaps most important is cooking time. I think oxtail ultimately is nicer and juicier but if you want the stew ready within four hours use lamb knuckle. You can cook this and leave it overnight but if you cook the lamb more than four hours it starts to get a little stringy. I’ll do the lamb knuckle version here. Remember rule number one – don’t rush anything!
  • Take the knuckles (about 2-3 per person) and toss them in a pot with some butter and a bit of oil. Once they are nicely brown take them out and set aside. If the butter is burned, clean the pot completely for next step.
  • Chop up a few shallots and red onions and throw them in the pot with some olive or grape seed oil. Fry them slowly for about 20 minutes until they are soft and translucent. I like to make a colourful mix of tubers and also throw in leeks, spring onions and maybe a little chili.
  •  Toss in a can of good quality Italian chopped tomatoes. You can use fresh tomatoes but they have to be super ripe and prepared correctly so rather go for a tin of chopped Rosa tomatoes. Cook the onion and tomatoes goo slowly with a dash of Maldon salt and black pepper.
  • Place the knuckles back into the pot on top of your delicious base and add a half a liter of water and half a liter of good red wine. Add a cup of stock. I make my own stock but if your back is against the wall just buy a good beef or oxtail stock and mix it with boiling water before adding it to the pot.
  • Chuck in a couple of handfuls of chopped up peeled carrots and set temperature to high. There must be enough liquid so that everything is only just covered. Boil at high-ish temperature for about half an hour or until the carrots start to soften.
  • Add in a bouquet garni. You can buy them ready made in a spice jar at big supermarkets or try and gather the fresh components and tie them together with a string or in a muzlin sock. Main spices are parsley, thyme and bay leaves.
  • Simmer at low heat for four hours. You can skim off accumulated fats if you want. When the meat is of the required succulence, switch it off and let it sit, preferably overnight.
  • Half an hour before serving, stir in a tin or two of either good quality kidney beans or white cannellini beans. For pure red stew keep colours all the same and use the kidney beans. When the stew is heating up, if you feel it is too dry, add the liquid from the bean cans, which is already reduced and flavourful.

NB! If at any point you either rushed, or forgot the pot, or put them temperature too high, you may have burned it. Transfer content to another pot WITHOUT scraping the bottom and leave the bitter stuff behind J

For another option add chili and pumpkin to the mix (pumpkin added about half way through, chilli at the beginning). You can also serve it with delicious Samp and Beans for a South Africa Flavour. Beans must be soaked overnight.

For a final flourish, when serving, prepare a bowl of fresh gremolata of finely chopped garlic, parsley, chilli and lemon zest to give it that extra zing!


12 thoughts on “Guest Writer Starwalker’s Lamb Knuckle Stew…

  1. Hmmmm, thanks Bladewarrior.

    But you just won’t believe the threats by said author who wished to publish his ‘Knuckle’ piece on my blog. Here are his words, verbatim:

    …I am delisting myself! I want nothing to do with a vegtard site – you cannot seriously call yourself a foodie with such limitations!

    On that note, Bladewarrior, it’s REALLY good to see you here again!


  2. Well artists/cooks/writers can be that way … but if you just chain them to the stove/keyboard they release magic. Anyhow, he was totally out of line and I am raising my blades high for any more nonsense.

  3. The recipe sounds great and please tell Starwalker that being no vegetard I will certainly try it. Only thing is, how far away from the pot must I stand before I toss in the lamb knuckles?

    1. I’m also a lamb fan… can’t eat them though! I still remember feeding them milk out of special glass bottles as a child sniff sniff!

  4. Hey, what’s happened?! There was a recipe here for soup with tomato and sweetcorn and now it’s gone… I wanted to write it down. Dang.

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