…from the Perspectives’ Kitchen
How you doin’? Many people shy away from lamb or mutton as the flavor can be a bit gamy, but when you use shanks from a young animal, Lamb Shanks are one of the most delicious dishes to be served up on a plate.
Where did Lamb Shanks come from? Lamb Shanks are basically the ankles of the lamb. When you look at one end you see bone, some tough-looking muscle and lots of tendons. Some of the world's most memorable and satisfying meals are made from ingredients that are less than desirable cuts of meat. And yet when they are properly braised with aromatic vegetables, garlic, herbs and wine, they make a meal for the gods.
After cooking, Lamb Shanks are chunks of meat, tender yet holding their form, in a sauce that seems to concentrate and elevate the flavor of a young lamb and garden veggies.
Lamb Shank recipes come mostly from the people who raise sheep for wool. The British and Commonwealth countries eat both mutton and lamb and the shanks are called "trotters." The French do wonderful things with lamb shanks, as do the chefs of the Middle East and India.
No matter what the country of origin, there is one common technique for the recipes: The shanks must be browned well all over and then simmered long and slow with a lot of liquid. That is until the Instant Pot was employed to pressure cook Lamb Shanks and aromatic spices and vegetables together that infuse the meat with same incomparable flavor and texture during cooking as a slow braise.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 75-90 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the marinade
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cinnamon stick
For the Mediterranean lamb shanks
3-pounds skinless lamb shanks (about 4 shanks)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 cups red wine
4 cups warm beef broth
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley for garnish (optional)
ChefSecret: My preference is for young New Zealand milk-fed lamb. It is lighter in flavor and smoother in texture. Ask your trusty butcher to order it in for you.
Quip of the Day: “Last night the devil whispered to me, I’m coming for you. I whispered back, Bring a pepperoni pizza.”
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