Lamb Shanks with Horn of Plenty recipe



Horn of Plenty / Black Trumpet (Craterellus cornocopioides)

As requested by several people, here’s my Horn of Plenty and Lamb Shanks recipe.


2 large or 3 small lamb shanks
Lots of Horn of Plenty (and possibly other wild mushrooms, see below)
500ml vegetable stock
250ml Côtes du Rhône red wine
1 onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
mixed herbs, salt & pepper
vegetable or olive oil for frying
optional: carrot, stick of celery, bay leaves, bouquet garni

For the mushrooms, horn of plenty is definitely recommended and works best, either on its own or mixed 50/50 with penny buns or other good quality boletes. They can be dried or fresh, and the quantity is up to you. Today I happened to use 50% horn of plenty (fresh), and 50% mixed penny bun, dark penny bun & summer bolete, and a couple of morels (all dried). You cannot overdo the wild mushrooms in this dish.

There’s two ways to cook it – a deep casserole dish in an oven, or in a slow cooker. The methods are about the same, but the slow cooker takes longer.

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C or set the slow cooker to high, and put the stock and wine in the slow cooker or the casserole dish. If using a casserole dish then put it on the hob on low.

2. Seal the lamb shanks on all sides in a frying pan with vegetable or olive oil. This takes only a couple of minutes. Add the sealed shanks to the pot.

3. Fry the chopped onion for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to fry for another minute or so. Don’t let either of them burn. Add to the pot, with a large pinch of dried herbs, seasoning, and all the mushrooms. Also add the optional ingredients if so desired.

4. If using a casserole dish (now put in the oven) then check every now and then to make sure there is enough liquid (it will depend how much is escaping). The shanks should be nearly covered with liquid. If there’s not enough, add some extra water. Turn the shanks occasionally to make sure all parts get long cooking. In an oven the meat should be almost falling off the bone after 3 hours. It will take longer in the slow cooker because it can take ages to get up to temperature and start bubbling.

Lamb Shanks with Horn of Plenty

5. Carefully remove the shanks, and put on a plate, then tip the rest of the contents into a large pan and return the shanks to the cooker/casserole. The shanks can just sit there keeping warm, and maybe getting a bit crispy round the edges. Now remove the optional ingredients from the liquid if you used them (they were just there to add flavour), and turn up the heat on the pan to reduce the liquid to a thick sauce with an intense taste. There’s an optional stage here too – you can either just reduce the liquid to a sauce leaving the mushrooms as intact as they still are, or you can use a hand blender to break them into smaller pieces. The first method produces a thinner sauce with identifable bits of mushroom in, the latter a thicker sauce without. Both taste great, which to do is a matter of aesthetics. You can also add a bit of cornflour-in-water to thicken the sauce if you would like more of it with a less strong taste.

6. When the sauce is sufficiently thick and tasty, plate up the shanks with seasonal vegetable and pour loads of sauce over each shank. The sauce goes particularly well with mashed potato.

2 thoughts on “Lamb Shanks with Horn of Plenty recipe

  1. Guy Ogilvy

    I look forward to trying this recipe out one day, but not until I finally find some Black Trumpets. I have been looking out for them for years, but never found them in the West Country (West Devon and now South Somerset). I did come across a patch of Ashen Chanterelles at the base of an oak tree a couple of years ago. It was your book that allowed me to identify them. I only picked a couple of handfuls, but once I had been dazzled by their sweet scented deliciousness, which seemed to intensify with drying, I tried to find my way back to the tree… alas, it eludes me still, but what a joy to have found and tasted something so rare, beautiful and delicious. I also found some dove grey ‘Pseudocraterellus’ that same day in mixed deciduous woods. Delicate, but delicious flavour. I marked the spot, but I haven’t found any in the two years since. I must come up to Sussex in search of Trompettes next autumn!
    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. Your Edible Mushrooms is the best book I’ve ever found on one of my very favourite subjects.

    1. Geoff Dann Post author

      Hi Guy

      You will struggle to find black trumpets in the West Country, but the Ashen Chanterelles are a nice find. They will eventually come back. We are due a good year for that group.



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