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Feb 7, 2011 10:08 AM

Cuisine Solutions' sous vide Lamb Shanks (carried by Costco and others)

My ( Nashua NH) Costco doesn't appear to carry these, but because so many Chowhounds praise them I bought a package when I noticed them in Waltham. I agree that they are excellent, but have you read the packaging? Two bagged shanks per package, for $13.49. There is no package weight given on the label, but the nutritional info says the package contains SIX roughly 4oz. (126g) servings. They must be including both sauce and bones in that 4oz. I wish I had weighed the package before cooking. The shanks are about average size - I consider one to be a single portion, not 3. I can see getting possibly 3 portions from the entire package but 6? No way, unless you are feeding a half-dozen anorexic supermodels.

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  1. I would assume the petite serving size is so they can claim fewer calories and less fat per serving.

    I also can only see getting 2 servings out of one pack. So the question is, are they worth $6.75 per serving ?

    2 Replies
    1. re: dump123456789

      Yes, I'd say they are worth the price. My budget would not allow it often, but it's every bit as good as you'd make at home or have in a nice restaurant. My quibble is about unrealistic labeling, not the quality of the dish.

      1. re: greygarious

        But that's hardly unique to this particular item - the same is true of nearly every pre-packaged food product in the supermarket. Look at something like kielbasa - you'll find that the "serving size" on which the calorie and fat numbers are based is something like 2 or 3 ounces.

        Even standard cans of non-condensed soup, like Progresso - which fill one good-sized bowlful - claim to be two servings per can.

    2. Service sizes are reduced in all food packages. The lamb shanks from Cuisine Solutions are worth it. I Bought one box from my Monrovia MD store in december, and still buy one box a month. Did you guys tried their Osso Buco?

      1 Reply
      1. re: TuffChef

        I bought the package of Osso Bucco at Costco, with two small pieces of shank in it. I wouldn't say it was bad, it wasn't, it just wasn't very flavorful, IMO. May just be a matter of personal taste. The reviews on the Costco web site average out to 3 out of 5 stars; that sounds about right to me. I wouldn't buy it again, but I find it takes so little time to prep this dish and hit a home run at home, not everybody feels that way about it or has the time to leave a braise in the oven for hours before eating, and that's their market.

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          1. That was nice of them. Some companies have lines they produce specifically for Costco. Sounds like this company has a frozen line and fresh line they sell through Costco (and perhaps some similar retailers). Presumably they sent frozen ones because they ship better.

            I appreciated the explanation that the USDA sets portions sizes. I personally wish they would give up the concept of "portions sizes" completely and go to a standard weigh/quantity value. For European products the nutritional value is given per 100 grams, which is then easy to divide by the grams in the package. I think the idea is that a "portion" was supposed to give a better idea of the nutritional components to the size people are actually going to eat, but the "portion sizes" aren't realistic in relation to the food or the packaging. At the very least, they could stop calling their standardized quantities "portions"!

          2. I take back m comment on cooking times--both times I've purchased the lamb shanks, I've taken them home and tossed them in the freezer. Obviously, they would need to be defrosted first!