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Preheat the oven to Gas mark 3, 170°C, 325°F. Heat a non-stick pan and dry fry the coriander and fennel seeds for 2-3 minutes, tossing the pan frequently. Transfer to either a mortar and pestle or blender and grind to a fine powder. Season the shanks with salt and pepper and coat in the spices. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and brown the lamb shanks on both sides for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer to a large ovenproof casserole dish. In the same frying pan add the onions, garlic and celery. Cook for 1-2 minutes and add to the casserole dish with the lamb. Add the remaining ingredients except the butternut squash or pumpkin. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook in the oven for 2½-3 hours until the meat falls away from the bone. 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the butternut squash or marrow, mix well, cover and return to the oven for the remaining cooking time. Remove the star anise and serve the shanks with a creamy cheese mash and sautéed marrow and tomatoes.
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 2½-3 hours
4 lean lamb shanks
30ml/2tbsp coriander seeds
30ml/2tbsp fennel seeds
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
30ml/2tbsp sunflower oil
2 small onions, peeled and cut into wedges
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
750ml/1½pint good, hot lamb stock
2 bay leaves
2 star anise
1 small butternut squash or pumpkin, skinned, deseeded and roughly cubed