Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
May 6, 2012 06:41 AM

Lamb and tenderness

I'm uncertain about tenderness and lamb chunks such as one uses in stews and Indian curries. Many recipes call for unspecified lamb chunks (even "lean lamb chunks") and cooking in liquid for 1.5 hours until tender. I made a lamb curry last night in that manner, using cubed meat taken from two "lamb steaks," which looked to me like the equivalent of bone-in round steak from beef--you know, with the little round femur section.

Well, my thinking is that you can simmer beef round chunks all day and they'll never get tender, as there's too little fat and connective tissue. And indeed, these lamb chunks were delicious but a bit dry and not exactly tender. They'd be unpleasant to eat unless swimming in that delicious sauce.

So when making a lamb curry, is it important to get shoulder meat or shank meat, just like in beef?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. anything that requires a long cook time, you need something like shank or shoulder. sometimes the package will say "meat for stew".

    leaner pieces just need shorter cook times. you could cook the meat in the sauce, remove when tender and continue cooking the sauce.

    1. Definitely shank, shoulder, and also rib area, rib chops work well, too.

      1. Best cut is lamb necks but you'll want to cook these 3+ hours to get them super tender and succulent. You can find these at a good butcher. Even Fairways in NYC has them in a package labeled bone in lamb stew. Leaner cubes of boneless lamb stew meat never end up as good.