Turkey Tracks: Lamb Shanks

May 10, 2020

Lamb Shanks

I love lamb.

Over time, I’ve discovered one either loves lamb or one doesn’t. There does not seem to be much of a middle ground. Maybe how one relates to lamb depends upon exposure during childhood? In some areas of the country, lamb isn’t very common. Or wasn’t, until recent decades. And if places where lamb hasn’t been common, it can be expensive.

I buy a whole, local lamb each fall for my freezers. “Lamb” isn’t a small baby, but an animal that is fully grown for 9 or 10 months.

The shanks are, in parts of the country where lamb is raised, fairly inexpensive. Each holds a good amount of meat, and the bones add good ingredients to the resulting stew.

One cooks lamb shanks (or beef short ribs) as I described in earlier posts: brown in some fat, add water, herbs, and savories; bring to a boil; cover; and cook in the oven at about 350 degrees for about an hour. Then add desired veggie chunks, more spices, etc., for at least another 30 to 40 minutes. In that first cooking, make it long enough to see that the meat is now fairly tender—which can vary according to the kind of covered pot you are using. A cast iron/enameled pot, for instance, will cook the meat faster.

Here’s my first dinner—I cooked the large Russet potato right in the pot.

Here’s my second dinner—I added more of the broth to the meal and topped the dish with a bit of REAL sour cream (that does not have additives).

Along the way, I roasted some chicken drumsticks to have for a salad lunch. Roasting drumsticks only takes about 45 minutes. I wish I could take a picture of the way my house smells when something delicious is cooking in the oven.

The local market had some beautiful lamb stew meat, so I bought a package, browned the meat, and added it and some raw sliced cabbage to what was left of my lamb shank broth. Here it starts to cook a soup/stew.

I added frozen corn to the soup/stew just before serving.

I topped with the REAL sour cream and some fresh green onions. Oh my goodness: this dish was absolutely delicious.

This last mixture provided 4 or 5 other servings for lunch or dinner. And I ate each one with the added green onions and sour cream!

I hope this post shows you how you can think about what you are cooking in ways that allow you to be creative with what you have on hand in your kitchen AND to diminish the workload AND to get more bang out of your food bucks.

Author: louisaenright

I am passionate about whole, nutrient-dense foods, developing local markets, and strengthening communities.

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