Cooked lamb shanks but meat did not fall off the bone

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steviegee

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jun 20, 2011
Messages
2
Hi there,

I cooked lamb shanks on two occasions but could not get the meat tender enough to fall off the bone. The meat wasn't extremely tough but I hoped it would have been more tender given the cooking time.

I'll explain the steps I took in the hope someone can make a few suggestions :chef:

Attempt 1:
- Bought 2 fresh lamb shanks
- covered in a mix of salt / pepper / flour
- browned in a pan
- browned onions in a pan

- placed one layer aluminium foil into my ceramic baking dish (could this be the problem?)
- added brown onions + lamb into dish
- added glass of red wine, tinned tomatoes.
- added chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, butter beans

- cooked for a variety of times: 1.5 hours, 2 hours, 2.5 hours
- temperature was 160C / 320F
- baking tray was uncovered both times
- turned the meat every 30mins

On my first attempt, I thought the lack of tenderness may have been caused by not adding water. So I added water with vegetable stock on round two but unfortunately it yielded similar results.

Anyway, I'll keep experimenting. In the meantime if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them :)

Steve
 
Lamb shanks do better when you braise them. So next time use a Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. Brown them, add aromatics, add liquid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and stick in a 325 oven for 2 hours.
 
Lamb shanks do better when you braise them. So next time use a Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. Brown them, add aromatics, add liquid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and stick in a 325 oven for 2 hours.

or more! Low and slow is the key to great lamb (or veal or beef or pork) shanks. And be sure to toss in a dried bay leaf. It's amazing what a difference that little sucker makes. :)
 
shouldn't the be tied with thread to keep them together. ?
kades
 
Thank you for all your ideas!

It seems that my main mistake was not covering the baking tray.

Can't wait to attempt this dish again. I don't own a dutch oven or roemertopf so will braise in a pot, cover and place in the oven for 2-3 hours.

Just for future reference, would adding foil to the baking tray have affected anything? I put it there to make cleaning easy.

Also, can't believe I forgot the dried bay leaf. Thanks Chef June :)

Steve
 
Lining the pan with foil will keep you from being able to "harvest" all of the drippings. Spray the pan with cooking spray, and use the foil on top to keep in the moisture.
 
For future reference, you can do it all in on pot. If you have a 6qt.-9qt sauce pan with a lid, you can brown the meat, saute the veggies then add the broth and veggies etc. Bring to a boil and pop it into the oven covered and let it cook.
 
Ditto braise. Which, remember, requires enough liquid (beef stock) to just fully immerse the meat. It takes a little bit of attending, but I also do my lamb shanks stove top. And, I think I would leave the foil out. No pain no gain. Foil might also be acting as an insulator, working against heat conduction. It's worth your repeated efforts, steviegee, to get the shanks fall-off-the-bone tender. Good luck! :clap:
 
- added glass of red wine, tinned tomatoes.

Hi Steve.

It sounds like you were part way into a braising process, but fell short on the amount of liquid needed to actually braise. The leaving it open was more like roasting, so your processes got fused in a bad way.

It's hardly ever about the recipe. It's about the process.
 
I have cooked them in a crock pot with great results. I usually lay a piece of foil or waxed paper over the "crock" the cover so that the liquid won't escape. Works for me.ay need to cook for more than 2 hours, more like 4 to 6.
 
Bake in a covered roemertopf.

RE: - Römertopf

It's odd that in all my years, I've never run into this word or seen even a photo of the device.

OMG, you've shown me an appliance I don't own....hehe, I'll have to fix that!
 

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