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Jan 2, 2011 10:34 AM

What to do with lamb shanks?

My local grocery store has lamb shanks on sale this week. I love lamb, but I don't regularly cook it, and I've never made or eaten lamb shanks before. I also have a big jar of preserved lemons that I'd like to make a dent in, and some olives hanging out in the fridge. I was thinking some kind of Moroccan preparation. Ideally, I could pop these in my slow cooker before heading to work in the morning and come home to an amazing meal that I could serve over couscous or something.

Do you have any better suggestions? Do you have a tried and true method of cooking these that I should know about?

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  1. Lamb shanks are wonderful. I make them with white beans. Though I don;s use a slow cooker, they are a perfect candidate, just make sure to brown them first. Moroccan flavors are a natural for them.

    1. I've had them made lots of ways, and this is my all time favorite:

      I think Moroccan style sounds great.

      1. I agree with Moroccan tagine. How about an osso bucco? They are also lovely braised with red wine, a touch of red wine vinegar (or other vinegars) and fresh herbs served over polenta, white beans (as already suggested) or lentils.

        1. I make a lamb shanks dish that always is a big hit. The trick is to first brown the lamb shanks and then take them out of the pan... saute onions and add some rosemary and white wine. After the lamb shanks are put back in (a use a large Le Creuset casserole pot), it goes in the oven at a low temperature (about 160) for about two hours or more. Last step is to take out the lamb shanks, reduce the liquid gravy and then add balsamic vinegar to it to pour over the lamb.

          1. I braise my lamb shanks in a 300-degree oven for about 3 hours. For a dinner during the week, I just brown the shanks, add a cup of red wine and a cup of diced tomatoes, bring to a boil, cover with parchment paper and a lid and braise in the oven. The lamb is falling off the bone and the sauce is thick and rich. The sky is the limit for what herbs or vinegars can use.