This meaty cut from the lower end of the leg is full of flavour and will become meltingly tender, and fall from the bone after long, slow cooking. Many cooks will recognise it as the smaller joint attached to a whole leg of lamb bought for roasting (as such some butchers will sell few shanks, if any, preferring to leave them on the leg). Lamb shank was a forgotten cut until celebrity chefs and trendy restaurants brought it back from oblivion. As a result, what was once a very inexpensive cut of meat is now rather less so. However it yields a generous amount of meat and is still an affordable option. A single shank will feed one person very generously; stripping the cooked meat from the bone and stewing it in its cooking juices will stretch it further.
When buying shanks from the butcher, check where they're come from. They may not always be from the same source as the other lamb.
Cook it slowly in hearty tomato or red wine-based dishes in winter, or in white wine, stock or orange juice for a lighter dish.
Article by Louisa Carter
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