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How to cook Lamb Shanks How to cook Lamb Shanks

How to cook Lamb Shanks

Lamb Shanks are perfect for the home cook that has a little bit more time on their hands, or someone looking to make a spectacular dish for comparatively little cost. Lamb Shanks may not be as versatile as some cuts of lamb, but what it lacks in versatility, it makes up in flavour. Needing little preparation, they’re best slow-cooked over several hours, so that the meat falls off the bone. Serve one per person for a delicious meal you’ll want to cook over and over again – find out more about how to cook easy lamb shanks below.

What can you cook with lamb shanks

  • Stewed dishes
  • Braised dishes

Key stats - how long to cook lamb shanks

Size/weight Method Time (total) Doneness
800 g Braising 1 hour 45 mins Pull-apart
900 g Braising 2 hours Pull-apart
800 g Slow-cooking 7 hours Pull-apart
900 g Slow-cooking 8 hours Pull-apart

How to cook lamb shank recipes

How to braise lamb shanks

  1. As with any cut of lamb, it’s important to bring your easy lamb shanks to room temperature before cooking them, as it helps the meat to cook more evenly.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200° C. In the meantime, preheat a casserole dish (preferably cast iron) on your hob to high and add two tablespoons of oil, or a few pumps of cooking spray.
  3. Add your Lamb Shank(s) to the casserole dish and brown them on all sides, before removing them to a warmed plate or bowl.
  4. Using the same casserole dish, add you chosen chopped vegetables and cook until sweated through (10-15 minutes). Carrots, onions, garlic, celery and leeks all work well here – you can even use potato or other root vegetables, there are no hard and fast rules.
  5. Return the seared lamb shanks to the pan, then add your braising liquid and bring to a simmer. You can use all manner of liquids for braising lamb shanks – red wine is a popular favourite, but beef stock, lamb stock, or dark beer are often used too. At this point you may want to add some tomato puree, if the recipe allows.
  6. Place the casserole dish into the preheated oven and cook for 1.5-2 hours, or until the lamb shank is fork-tender. At this point, remove the meat from the casserole dish, then place the casserole dish on the hob and reduce the remaining liquid on high, until it coats the back of a spoon.
  7. Return your lamb shanks to the casserole dish and serve.

How to cook lamb shanks in a slow cooker

  1. As with any cut of lamb, it’s important to bring your lamb shanks to room temperature before cooking them, as it helps the meat to cook more evenly.
  2. Using a large enough plate, mix 100 grams of plain flour, with a generous pinch of salt and a few cracks of the black pepper grinder. Dredge your lamb shanks in the mixture, then set them aside.
  3. Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan on a medium-high heat and add two tablespoons of oil, or a few pumps of cooking spray. Add the dredged lamb shanks to the pan and turn regularly, until browned all over, before removing them and adding them to the slow cooker.
  4. Add your choice of chopped vegetables to the slow cooker. Onions and garlic are great, but there are no rules about what you have to use – most root vegetables work very well.
  5. Heat enough braising liquid to cover the meat in a saucepan. You can use lots of things here, dependant on your recipe – red wine and dark beer are popular choices, as are beef stock, lamb stock and vegetable stock. Bring it to the boil and add it to your slow cooker. It’s important the liquid is hot, otherwise your slow cooker won’t reach high enough cooking temperatures.
  6. Set your slow cooker to the desired setting and cook for 6-8 hours, depending on the size of your lamb shanks. Once fork-tender, remove and serve with remainder of the braising liquid.

Image credit: yatomo / 123RF Stock Photo

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