If this is your first time dabbling with British cuisine, lamb shank is the perfect dish to start with. British cuisine includes simple dishes you can prepare with as much or as little of flavor you want. Lamb shanks gives you an opportunity to explore with different spices, and fresh herbs you can find in your garden or local market.
Lamb shanks has been a popular British cuisine across the UK. It’s a well-liked gastropub menu dish. Lamb shanks are braised in most restaurants and pubs. However, if you’re cooking this delicacy in your own kitchen, cooking it sous vide is a better option.
Sous vide allows you to slow cook the lamb shank at a low-heat. This method makes the shank juicy, tender, and flavorful.
– Salt and Pepper
– Olive Oil, Red Wine, or Beef Stock
– Fresh Herbs and Spices
– Vacuum or Ziploc Bag
Preheat the Water Bath
When working with lamb shank, it will cook in what’s called a water bath. Fill a large pan with water and start warming it with low to medium heat. Using a food thermometer, the water is ready when it reaches 150F (66C).
Prepare the Lamb
As the water is heating, prepare the lamb. Start with sprinkling salt and pepper directly on the lamb. For best results, use cracked pepper and sea salt. Rub generously around the lamb.
In your vacuum bag, add herbs and spices, rosemary, and a tablespoon or two of olive oil. If you don’t want to use oil, use a beef stock, lemon juice, or red wine.
For the marinade, be creative and try to use the freshest ingredients. Lamb is easy to work with so you can try almost anything. Depending on the marinade recipe you’re using, you can add herbs and spices such as:
Carefully slide the lamb into the bag. Place your hands on the outside of the bag and gently massage the oil and spices into the meat.
When finished, vacuum seal the bag. For this step, you can use a Ziploc bag, however when you slide the lamb shank into the bag, you must remove all the air. For this step, a vacuum bag works best.
Cooking a lamb shank sous vide is a three-step process. Finishing the first step but not completing the second will affect the taste of the lamb shank. Be sure to follow each step so you can maximize the lamb’s flavor.
Step 1: Cook in the Water Bath
Once the water reaches 150F (66C), place the entire bag lamb into the pan. Leave in the pan on the lowest heat setting possible and cook for 16 hours. Ensure the lamb is bathing towards the middle of the pan so the it cooks evenly.
While the lamb shank is in the bath, set a timer to check on it every 2 hours or so. Although you don’t have to stir it, check the back to make sure it isn’t punctured, or the water isn’t boiling over.
Step 2: Remove Excess Water
After the 16 hours bath, take the lamb out of the vacuum sealed bag. Using a paper towel, remove the excess water from the lamb by gently pressing on the lamb.
Removing the excess water avoids watering the flavor, bringing the flavors you put in the bag to the forefront.
Step 3: Fry the Lamb Shanks
In a large frying pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Once the pan is hot, fry the lamb shank. Use a pair of tongs to turn the lamb.
Before taking it out of the pan, ensure that all sides of the shanks have a nice brown color. Frying the lamb shanks adds a nice crust that helps to trap the flavors and preserve the lamb.
The Side Dish
When it comes to the side dish, you want to find something that compliments the flavor of the lamb shank. Consider a creamy rosemary mashed potato or a red potato hash.
For vegetables, add a pepper-laden broccoli, vinegar-induced string beans, or a simple Caesar salad. Drink a simple red wine to help infuse your palette and appreciate the flavors of the lamb.
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