Lamb shanks are among the most flavourful cuts of meat, with a rich and robust taste perfect for braising – a method that involves slow-cooking meat in liquid until it is tender and flavourful. Braising can bring out its natural flavour and create a mouthwatering dish for this meat cut.
However, amateur cooks might need help trying to cook this popular dish. But with a few tips, one can quickly create a delicious dish by modifying a popular recipe or following it down the wire.
Here’s what newbies must learn about braising this sought-after meat cut correctly.
Selecting the Right Shanks
Look for meaty and well-trimmed shanks with a good amount of fat marbling. They should match in size so they cook evenly. Additionally, it is vital to consider the age of the lamb. Younger ones will be more tender and have a milder flavour, while older variants will be more flavourful but may require longer cooking times.
Before you start braising, there are a few steps to follow to prepare the meat. Firstly, season them generously with salt and pepper, which will help enhance their natural flavours. Depending on your inclination, add other herbs and spices to the seasoning mix, such as rosemary, thyme, or garlic.
Next, sear them in a hot pan with a bit of oil. Searing will create a crust on the outside of the meat, which will help to lock in the juices and add flavour. Once the pieces are browned evenly, remove them from the pan and set aside.
You will need a large pot or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid to braise the meat correctly. Add aromatics like onions, carrots, and celery to the pot and sauté them until soft. Then, add the meat pieces back to the pot, along with additional herbs or spices.
Pour in enough liquid to cover the meat. This could be water, beef, chicken broth, or a combination. Bring it to a simmer, cover the pot and place it in the oven. Cook the meat in the oven for several hours until it is tender and falling off the bone.
The specific cooking time will depend on the size of the pieces and the temperature of your oven. Generally, it will take two to three hours at 350°F (180°C).
A Quick Recipe
Beginners can use a simple recipe for cooking lamb shanks incorporating red wine and balsamic vinegar to add depth and richness to the flavour and rosemary for a fragrant herbal note.
4 lamb shanks
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups red wine
2 cups beef broth or chicken stock
½ cup balsamic
You can follow the above steps to prepare the meat and cook it with the other ingredients, ensuring you have the most delicious dish ever. You can also boil the liquid, reduce it until it thickens to your desired consistency, and add seasonings or herbs to make a sauce.
An Online Guide Can Help
You can find various recipes, cooking tips, and information on different cuts of meat and their best preparation methods online. These resources are dedicated to all things food and offer a wealth of information for experienced cooks and beginners.
With some research and experimentation, you can discover new techniques and flavours to create delicious and satisfying meals. Therefore, feel free to try new things and explore the world of cooking with the assistance of expert advice.
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