My relationship with lamb is improving! Over the past 16 months, it has been a protein I have avoided due to firstly a culture of former low fat diets where white meat ruled, and secondly, it is the one protein, beef included, that has spiked my sugar levels in my initial days of cultivating healthier eating habits. So while I prepare lamb at least once a week for the family, it is only in the recent past that I have gradually started added it back into my meal plans, one meal at a time, guided by the way I feel after indulging in some.
Shopping for grass-fed lamb recently, I decided to ask the butcher to cut me a few, which Headchef managed to prepare for the family while I was away! I think he felt guilty when I mentioned the other day that the weekend would be a good time to give the lamb shanks a try out – this morning he surprised me with two! Not wanting to freeze them, I decided to try them out in this recipe. It was also a great opportunity to prepare these slowly, around my lazy Saturday morning, with unhurried cooking techniques that lent itself beautifully to this dish.
While I used a slow cooker, cooking on low for 4 hours, this recipe will work in a cast-iron pot, preferably, slow cooked on the stove top. The “low and slow” cooking process results in tender, juicy meat that just falls off the bone. The ingredients are minimal and the slow cooked to perfection lamb shanks may be served with sides, as preferred.
2 medium lamb shanks, raw weight about 350g each
1 large onion, cleaned and roughly sliced
1 head of unpeeled garlic cloves
2 tblsp coconut oil
a few sprigs of fresh Origanum, rosemary and thyme OR a store bought bouquet garni
1 cup bone broth, homemade OR 1 cup homemade beef or lamb stock
Freshly milled black pepper and Himalayan salt to taste
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a cast-iron pan over medium heat. Sear the lamb shanks, preferably, one at a time, until evenly browned while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
- After first shank is complete, add the remaining tblsp of coconut oil.
- Place lamb shanks in a slow cooker.
- Sauté the onion and unpeeled garlic cloves in the pan for 1–2 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Cover the lamb shanks with the sautéed garlic and onion. You may add vegetables of your choice at this stage.
- Place the rosemary, thyme sprigs, and oregano in a securely tied piece of cheese cloth or muslin cloth (“bouquet garni”).
- Place the bouquet garni in the slow cooker, cover all with broth or stock.
- Slow cook for 3–4 hours on low heat.
- Serve with onions and garlic on top over vegetable of your choice