Sunday, February 11, 2007

Slow Roasted Lamb Shanks with Garlic and Rosemary

This is simply the easiest and most flavorful way to enjoy lamb. This cut of lamb is also the most affordable, which makes it a great choice for entertaining. Moist, fragrant and falling off the bone, this recipe should be a regular in your fall/winter dinner repertoire. We served this over a wonderful ragout of white beans and aromatic vegetables. You can also see that clip, as it makes a great base to any slow-roasted meat.

PLEASE NOTE: You should get an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is at the proper temperature. Many home ovens are not that accurate when set to a very low temp, like 200 degrees as directed in this clip. To be safe, check your shanks after 2 hours and see if they are “fork tender,” if not simply wrap back up and put them back in.

Also, the shanks from the front legs of the animal are not as large as the hind shanks. This is also a reason to check the doneness after 2 hours. When you buy the shanks, be sure to have the butcher give you ones that are the same size!

2 Lamb Shanks
Olive Oil
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Thyme
5 Cloves Garlic
Black Pepper


Anonymous said...

if shank is cooked in sealed foil, how does it come out dry, sticky & so gorgeous?
when i cook anything in foil, a lot of water collects in bottom of foil pack?

Chef John said...

i think you missed the first cooking uncovered in the very hot oven. Then after its wrapped and slow roasted. Watch again and you'll see.

Anonymous said...

no sugar? why do you keep saying in the vid "sweet" & sugar would explain sticky.

Chef John said...

the caramelized gelatin from the colagen in the shank and the garic give it the sweet stickness

Anonymous said...

thank you so much! will give it a try.
Shank you!

Mukul said...

Thank you so much for all the videos. They surely inspire me to cook. By the way, I'm going to try your recipe this evening. Wish me luck Chef John! :-)

Zach said...

I cooked this a few hours ago for my grandmothers birthday and I have to say that this is one of the best lamb dishes that I have ever had.

I got sooo many compliments and comments such as 'youre such a great chef'... and this is practically the only dish that I know how to make!

Thanks John!


Tomchek said...

Hi John,

If I have sent this twice, please excuse it.

Would this procedure work as well for pork shanks? I want to slow-roast pork shanks then serve with red cabbage and bread dumplings (German).



Chef John said...

Never tried, but should work. They would have to cook longer since they are bigger, but I'm not sure how much longer. Good luck!

Tomchek said...

Thanks Chef John - for the rapid response as well as providing your expertise.
I'm planning to give it a shot this week and will provide feedback.

Thanks again.


Teresa said...

I made this last night and it was excellent. Thanks for the easy recipe.

Anonymous said...

Being indian, I deviated a little from this recipe by grinding black pepper, cumin seeds, cinamon sticks and added lemon, chilli powder and vinegar in a bag and marinating the lamb overnight (kind of like Robert Rodriguez's pork dish).
While the lamb was cooking on high in the oven, I fried some mushrooms till all the water was evaporated and added the garlic chunks and the liquid from the marinate and fried them all together on low heat, making sure I didn't burn the garlic. My goal was to reduce the marinate juices which would be absorbed by the dried up mushrooms and bring up the flavor of the garlic.
When the lamb was quickly cooked on high for the 30mins, I added the fried mixture and the rosemary thyme leaves and left it to slow cook in the oven.
I love spicy foods so try this at your own risk. :)

Chef John said...

sounds great!

Anonymous said...

I followed the instructions exactly but didn't achieve as good a result as I saw in the video. Instead of achieving the dark, rich caramelization on the shanks you got, mine had much more of a "stewed" apparance. They were still very tender, but were much lighter in color and I doubt that they had the rich flavor of those in your presentation. I also noticed that there was much more liquid (seemed to be all rendered lamb fat) in the foil package when I finished (there was probably 1 C to 1 1/2 C). Do you know what might have gone wrong here? I did roast in an open foil container at 450 for 1/2 hour before slow roasting at 200 as directed, but I also noticed that my lamb shanks didn't appear as well done at the end of the high-heat roast. I also noticed that I had much more lamb fat in the foil package at this point than you had in your video.

It seems to me like the problem was that there was simply too much liquid in my parcel. If I have a lot of lamb fat left after the high-heat initial roast should I pour it off? Also, next time should I make sure to roast until the shanks achieve a deeper brown color to insure that a greater quantity of the fat is rendered off and can be removed? I would love any input, as these were pretty good as-is, and I'm sure they'd be absoutely fantastic if I were able to replicate your result.

Thanks, and love the series,

Chef John said...

next time just pour off the fat at the end, heat the oven back up to 425 and caramelize then. Not sure what happened. Was the foil open, but still up reflecting the heat? Maybe just fatty shanks. You can always brown at the end.

Elijah said...

Is this recipe with the Thyme any better than the one with just Rosemary and pierced garlic instead of crushed?

Chef John said...

not better, different. variety is the spice of life

Elijah said...

Ok. I tried out this recipe last night on the family. I felt like it was one of the best meals of my life. My Mom even loved it, and she is like the pickiest, complainingest diner ever. Dad claimed not to like lamb, but there wasn't a single morsel left on his plate (after I removed the tendons, cartilage, bone, and fat from the "lean" parts.)
The dogs appeared to really enjoy the bones leftover afterward, as well.

Nancy Bea Miller said...

I made this dish and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for the great recipe. One question: could this be done in a crockpot after the initial browning stage?

Jenny said...

According to my husband this was just the best lamb shank recipe he has had. I made it as stated and it couldn't have been easier. 5* from us. :)

Peas&Carrots said...

Oh my, you are absolutely the best! When roasting I kept telling my husband to close his mouth and stop drooling. The smell was incredible, but more incredible was the taste! My husband wanted his served over mashed potatoes and I opted for some leftover lentils I had very recently made. I can't thank you enough for all the delicious recipes you put out there.