Robert's Lamb Shanks
This is Robert. He's a good sport!
How to Win Friends & Influence People. Well, in our neighborhood, you feed them! Our neighbor and friend Robert Greer is a great guy. He loves fishing, he loves his life partner and wife, Denise, and he loves this lamb shank recipe that I developed one day when lamb shanks were available at a local grocery store. He's also a really good sport for letting me set up and take this photo just as he'd finished dinner at our house. Here's my recipe in printable format.
So, while I'm calling this recipe Robert's Lamb Shanks, I'm the one who developed the recipe. Robert, however, enjoyed the dish so much, even to the point of having Denise scout out lamb shanks to recreate the dinner for Easter! Who doesn't appreciate high praise like this? Thank you, Robert! So I named the dish in his honor.
Where to find lamb shanks? Well, if you live in a city with lots of fresh meat options, you can go to your local butcher and ask them to order some for you, or if you live in a smaller rural area as I do, you can turn to online meat purveyors like Wild Fork Foods. The shanks can come is all sizes, depending on the butcher's definition of lamb, so I give you a weight range in the recipe instead of the number of shanks to buy. You may find shanks that look like a miniature version of a leg of lamb, and they actually are at the end of a leg of lamb, but you can also find them in large chops with the bone still in the center from being cut across the shank. At any rate, if you cannot find shanks, try this with blade lamb chops and you'll still be a slow cooking hero. Click here for the recipe.
How do I cook lamb shanks, you ask. This is how I do it. I cut across and through the meat all the way to the bone, which speeds up cooking time a bit, allows seasonings to reach deeper and makes serving time a little less stressful because the meat will come away from the bone with ease. You don't give each person one shank. I even cut off half of the meat from Robert's serving and he almost couldn't finish his portion.
So, then what? I season the meat, brown it all and set in a large covered casserole roasting dish like Le Creuset. Next, I brown the onion slowly so that it releases all of its sugars, finish it with everything else and pour it all over the shanks. Set aside 3 hours for oven cooking time and you'll be fine. As Ina Garten says, "How easy is that?" Exactly!
Robert's Lamb Love Story. Denise, Robert's wife, told me a cute story about the early days of their marriage. Apparently, Robert was not fond of lamb, until... They were on a cruise together, and Denise ordered lamb shanks for dinner. Robert had a taste of Denise's lamb dish and fell in love, not only with Denise, all over again, but with lamb as well. And they lived happily ever after. The end. I hope that you fall in love with lamb shanks too.