Cooking lamb shanks is super easy! Lamb is a type of meat that no one complains about in my family. I usually cook lamb in stews, roasted or grilled. No one complains about the gamey smell. I hope that the reason is that I have mastered the way to cook this wonderful lean meat.
Lamb dishes are best enjoyed when prepared the right way. And by right way I mean, well cleaned and seasoned. Lamb can have a gamey smell and taste when not cooked properly. The gamey issue is quickly resolved with vinegar or wine because they are acidic agents. When preparing gamey meat, having an acidic agent in the seasoning helps a lot. The vinegar is usually mixed with the seasoning. The seasoning is then added to the lamb for marination.
Vegetable stews are perfect with lamb. The meat assorbes the flavors of the vegetables making it more delicious.
What is the best lamb?
D’Artagnan, the leading purveyor of foie gras, game meat, organic poultry, pâtés, sausages and smoked delicacies in the nation describes below where they get their lamb.
D’artagnan sources its products from small farmers. The company sources humanely-raised lamb from Australia, where there is a strong tradition of pasturing these wooly ruminants. A cross between the Dorset, White Suffolk and Border Leicester-Merino breeds, the sheep dine on clover and rye grasses, ensuring a sweet, mild flavor that is not gamey (a common complaint of uninitiated lamb eaters). (D’Artganan.com)
Domestic lamb is raised in the Rocky Mountain region by a small cooperative of family farms. They raise the heritage Rambouillet/Suffolk mixed breed on high altitude pasture and finish them with a grain supplement. Like the farmers in our other cooperatives, they insist on following natural processes, never administering antibiotics or hormones. ((D’Artganan.com)
This makes total sense! Knowing where your lamb comes from it very important. I usually buy my lamb at a Halal charcuterie or at Costco.
Costco usually sells lamb from Australia and I have not had any issue yet. But it is always good to read the packaging label to confirm the location.
What lamb needs
Lamb meat needs seasoning and vinegar. When cooking lamb, I use balsamic vinegar 85% of the time. I find that balsamic vinegar and red wine elevate the taste of the lamb. For seasoning, the fresher the better. But if you have a good seasoning blend, you will have a delicious meal.
For this recipe, I chose to use sliced lamb shanks for convenience. Whole lamb shanks are fine to use but the cooking time will need to be adjusted. After searing the meat in a heavy bottom pan, I layered the onion, parsley, thyme, celery, watercress, tomatoes, and bell peppers so their flavors could permeate the lamb. After the lamb is thoroughly cooked, a quick check on the seasoning, the lamb dish is ready for serving.
- 3 pounds lamb shanks sliced
- 1 tbsp oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 large onion sliced
- 2 sprigs parsley chopped
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 watercress bunch chopped roughly
- ½ cup bell peppers sliced or mini peppers sliced
- 1 celery stalk sliced
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Noubess Hot and Spicy Mango Sauce
- 2 large tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth – low sodium
- Heat the oil in a large deep heavy bottom pan over high heat. Season the lamb shanks and add to the pan. Brown well turning them until browned on all sides, about 10 min. About halfway through the browning, sprinkle the lamb with the garlic.
- When the meat is nicely colored, deglaze with the balsamic vinegar. Add the broth. Layer the onion, parsley, thyme watercress, bell peppers celery and tomatoes on top of the meat, then bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cover. Cook at a slow simmer until the lamb is quite tender, about 1 1/2 hours or a little longer.
- Season to taste; raise the heat to high and uncover to boil out some of the liquid.
- Garnish with a few thyme leaves, if necessary, then serve.