Tender, fall of the bone Lamb Shank slow cooked in the oven for 3 hours and flavored with aromatic herbs and spices with sweet and salty thick sauce. You’re in for a really huge chunk of meat treat.
Lamb Shank … They made me hungry by just looking at them, at that’s me who rarely eat meat. I always like how big and chunky it looks like, and how tender they are. There’s quite a variation out there and different ways to make it. Some recipe adds wine while slow cooking it, some uses just soy sauce and tomatoes, some use canned tomato and some uses fresh tomato. Some like it sweet and salty, some like it more of tomato taste in the sauce. How do you like yours?
What to expect from this lamb shank
- Tender, fall of the bone tender
- Flavorful and tasty
- Thick sauce with slightly sweet and salty taste
My 1 interesting ingredient in this Lamb Shank … Sparkling Juice! My version of a Lamb Shank uses sparkling soda plus tomato sauce and paste for thicker sauce. Since I don’t add wine in any of my cooking, I find sparkling soda a good substitute to wine. I normally use peach or pomegranate sparkling juice, the sweet fruity taste adds a nice flavor to the lamb shank. The fruity flavored juice produces a really nice slightly sweet sauce which blends well with the natural juice of tomato. It’s just brilliant, and really delicious. If you don’t have a sparkling juice, you can use any soda drinks like Sprite. Aside from sweetness, soda helps in tenderizing the meat, so it’s worth grabbing a can to use for this Lamb Shank.
Lamb Shank my seems intimidating to you, but don’t let this huge piece of meat scare you away from making it.
I have here few tips to guarantee a successful Lamb Shank
- Pan Seared the Lamb Shank: I like searing the Lamb Shank first before braising and slow cooking it. Searing provides a nice browning, plus when coated with flour it helps create a thick sauce.
- Slow cooking is the key: Your patience will be tested, but trust me, it’s worth the wait. Shortcut is not something that you would want to do when making a Lamb Shank. Cooking the meat in a low and slow heat tenderizes the meat better, plus it builds up amazing flavor because of the long time the meat it marinated in the sauce while it is being cooked. If you blast the heat especially when cooking on stove top, you will have less flavor, the seasoning will not have enough time to get into the meat to give enough flavor. Yes, your meat could be tender, but it could taste bland. Personally, I good Lamb Shank for me is the one that have amazing flavor and taste inside and outside. That means flavor in the meat itself and on the thick creamy sauce. They should go hand in hand, not just one or the other. So plan ahead when you cook Lamb Shank, allocate enough hours to cook, let it do its thing. Do not rush it. I’ll be honest with you, this is not a dish that you should make when you need a dish to serve in one hour.
- Reducing the Sauce: Another key thing that I look for a good Lamb Shank is a thick sauce, not runny but thick and full of flavor. Again, this is achieved by the low and slow cooking process. The sauce reduces the longer you cook it, you’ll end up with a thick tomato sauce that is flavorful and delicious. Plus I have to mention too that the flour coating we added when searing the meat helps the sauce to have a thick consistency.
You might be turned off by the long cooking time, but you have options on how you can cook it.
3 Ways to Cook Lamb Shank
- Oven – Cook at 300F for 3 hours checking halfway through and stirring. Add more water or sparking juice as needed and cook until fork tender
- Stove Top– This is probably will have a shorter wait time because the meat is cook almost directly with the heat. But make sure to cook in low to medium heat as well. Cook for 2 hours checking halfway through and stir. Add more water or sparking juice as needed and cook until fork tender
- Slow Cooker– If you have a slow cooker, this is going to be such a breeze to make. Add the vegetables (if using any like potato) in the bottom of the slow cooker. In a separate pan, pan sear the lamb shank. Transfer in the slow cooker and add the rest of the ingredients. You may need to add more liquid as this will cook longer. Add 1 more cup and check midway the cooking time and add more liquid as needed. Cook for 6 – 8 hours or until fork tender.
Whichever you choose, cook low and slow. Your aiming for a fall of the bone meat, fork tender and flavorful. Let’s get started!
- 2 pieces Lamb Shank
- 2 tbsp Olive
- 3 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 – 1 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes
- 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1 cup Beef Stock
- 1/4 cup Sparkling Soda
- 1/4 cup Tomato Sauce
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1/4 cup Kalamat Olives – optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 300F.
- Coat the lamb shank with all-purpose flour. In a heated pan, sear the pan shank more or less 3 minutes each side depending on the size of the lamb shank you are using. The goal is to have all sides nicely browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the rest of the ingredients: In the same pan, add onion and cook until translucent. Add more oil as needed, or remove excess oil as needed. Add back the lamb shank. Pour the broth, wine or soda or sparkling juice. Add salt, pepper, paprika, red chili flakes, Italian seasoning, brown sugar, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir to combine then cover.
- Cook in the oven for 3 hours or until the meat is for tender. Check every 1 hour and mix, baste the lamb shank with the sauce. Add more broth or sparkling juice as needed. Add Kalamata olive in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Serves 2 -3
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