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Need a good recipe for lamb shanks

Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by WarrenB, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

    I want to cook a couple of lamb shanks for my wife's birthday dinner as they are here favourite. I did them before cooked slow in red wine, onion and other bits, it was nice but not amazing, so if anyone has a good foolproof recipe along the same lines then I am all ears!!
    Thanks in advance for any tips!
  2. I would treat them almost exactly as Osso Buco.

    Generally (I'm happy to be more detailed if you like):

    Season shanks generously, brown in oil in a dutch oven over med high heat. One at a time if your pan is crowded. Get a good brown on all sides. Remove.

    Add to the pan mirepoix (onions, celery, carrots chopped), and saute medium until softened...5 minutes or so. Add a couple of tablespoons tomato paste, and cook until dark brown - another 3 - 4 minutes.

    Deglaze with wine - I use white - but many prefer red - depends how deep and rich you want the sauce. Add fresh garlic, bay and thyme, and peppercorns. Just cover with stock. Many choices here, again depending how rich you want the sauce (could range from standard chix, to dark roasted chix, to veal to beef stock). Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour. (can do stove top or in a 325F oven).

    After an hour, check stock level, and continue to simmer uncovered. Time is flexible here depending on the size of your shanks. Could be 90 minutes, could be three hours. Add to the stock level if it gets low. They are finished when the meat is super tender and easily separates from the bone, BUT you don't want to over cook because presentation is nicer with the meat intact - IE not so cooked it all falls away to your pot.

    Serving options:

    First - after removing the shanks, strain the sauce and add back to the pan to reduce. Sometimes adding a dash of vinegar helps 'wake the sauce up'. Also check the seasoning. So you have shanks and sauce. I like to serve over a bed of polenta and some cooked greens. A nice addition is a gremolata, which is simply finely minced parsley, lemon zest and garlic.

    Another option is too add some Moroccan spices to the lamb when you season it at the beginning - say cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, clove. Then serve over couscous with currants or yellow raisins.

    hope this helps - happy cooking!
  3. WildBoar

    WildBoar Founding Member Contributor

    ^^ This. We probably make or order lamb shanks cooked this way over osso buco 90% of the time. Definitely include the gremolata; it adds a nice tangy fresh flavor that helps balance the fattiness of the shank/ sauce.
  4. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

    Thanks for the info, very useful:) Sounds like I wasn't far off before with the ingredients so I guess it was more to do with the cooking process , when you degalze with wine how much do you use? This may have been where I went wrong last time, is it a case of just enough to get the pan deglazed or are we adding more to add to the flavour?
    Thanks guys!
  5. WildBoar

    WildBoar Founding Member Contributor

    stock choice and amount of wine definitely affect the outcome. For 4 shanks I'd guestimate I use 1-1/2 - 2 cups of wine. Make sure you use stock that has some flavor; I've found vegetable stock doesn't bring much to the party. Beef stock adds the most flavor, but just make sure you use a tasty one (or make it yourself).
  6. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

  7. For the deglaze I would say a cup should be fine, and you want to bring up the heat and have it boil off a little. The key role of the wine is the deglaze, or releasing all the browed on fond stuck to the bottom of your pan. Make sure to stir it all up before continuing.

    Then continue with stock etc. And yes - a richly flavored stock makes a huge difference.
  8. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

  9. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

    Ok one last question, how much mirepoix for 2 shanks? 1 medium onion, 1 celery stalk and a couple of carrots?
    Just don't want to make a mess of this one:D
  10. Jeffery Hunter

    Jeffery Hunter Founding Member

    Just give it a good bed to rest on so it is off the bottom of the pot.
  11. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

  12. Jeffery Hunter

    Jeffery Hunter Founding Member

    Look forward to seeing your finished product.
  13. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

  14. WildBoar

    WildBoar Founding Member Contributor

    I'll PM you my address so you can shoot me a finished sample for inspection...
  15. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

    No problem but it might be a little 'off' by the time it gets over there:D
    Looking good so far!!
  16. Dave - up for a road trip? I think inspection is a must!! :D

    Hope it turns out great Warren!
  17. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

    Not chef standard but I think it turned out great!!

    Browning the shanks

    Mirepoix(my version of it anyway!!)

    Softening and getting a bit of colour

    Deglazed, added stock and shanks and cooked for about 2 hours. Removed the shanks and strained the sauce then reduced

    And the final result!! Just served with simple buttery mash

    Quick phone pic before it disappears!! just about stayed on the bone lifting it out of the pot but fell apart perfectly on the plate:)


    Thanks for the advice guys, it turned out great!!
  18. Jeffery Hunter

    Jeffery Hunter Founding Member

    Looks wonderful Warren.
  19. WildBoar

    WildBoar Founding Member Contributor

    Nice! Next time try a gremolata as well; it really adds some nice freshness. Plus it only takes a couple minutes and you get to play more with your knives :)
  20. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

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