8 lamb shanks (2.4kg), Frenched
Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to season
1 Tbsp ground allspice
1 Tbsp plain flour
100ml extra virgin olive oil
3 sticks celery, finely sliced
3 carrots, peeled, cut into 2cm lengths
10 eschalots, peeled, sliced into rounds
6 cloves garlic, sliced
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked, roughly chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
2 Tbsp honey
250ml dry white wine
400ml chicken stock
100ml hot water
400g can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
Extra 1 Tbsp plain flour
6 Dutch cream potatoes (about 1kg), peeled, cut into 5cm pieces
1 cup (40g) finely grated parmesan
4 egg yolks
6 grinds of whole nutmeg or
¹⁄8 tsp ground nutmeg
Extra 150g unsalted butter, chopped
Preheat oven to 160°C. Season lamb. Combine allspice and flour in a large bowl. Add lamb, tossing to coat. Heat ½ of the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add ½ of the lamb and brown, turning, for 10 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining lamb and oil.
Add celery, carrot, eschalot, garlic, thyme and rosemary to same pan and cook, stirring, for 15 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste, honey, wine, stock, water and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Return lamb to pan, cover and bake in oven for 2 hours 45 minutes.
Remove pan from oven. Increase heat to 180°C. Remove shanks from pan and set aside. Combine butter and extra flour in a small bowl until smooth. Stir into sauce until incorporated. Season.
Remove meat from 6 of the shanks, discarding bones.
Cut meat into large pieces and return to pan with two whole shanks. Bake, uncovered, for a further 30 minutes or until meat is very tender and sauce has thickened.
Meanwhile, boil potatoes for 25 minutes or until very tender. Drain well and transfer back to saucepan off the heat. Mash until smooth, then mash in cheese, yolks, nutmeg and extra butter until well combined. Season.
Transfer lamb mixture to a large 30cm-round, deep ovenproof dish (reserve any excess for later use), removing thyme stalks as you spoon into dish. Arrange the 2 whole shanks at 1 side of dish, with bones protruding upright.
Increase oven to 220°C. Put mashed potato into a piping bag with no nozzle or a zip-lock bag with corner snipped and pipe onto lamb filling, leaving the 2 shank bones protruding. Alternatively, use spoons to dollop mashed potato on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until potato is golden. Serve.