Any food made of lamb is loved in many countries, especially at Easter. I can quite well remember that in Finland there were only a few days time to get any lamb in stores before Easter. Meat was domestic, of course, and it was sold fresh, and so it is even nowadays: you can get fresh domestic lamb meat only at Easter. There is lamb meat on sale in stores all around the year, but it is usually frozen or vacuum packed and imported from New Zealand.
As a rule, you will usually be offered crown roast, lambkin roasts and leg chump-offs, but this time I happened to find some foreshank – frozen, of course – and what is more, even on sale. Pork shank is very familiar to us and we regard it as the best and tastiest part of pork, and just as the pork shank the lamb shank was really tasty… and cheap.
In all recipes they advise you to simmer lamb shank for several hours in various kinds of broths to make it smooth and tasty. My recipe though is very different, because we happen to like our meat rather a bit raw than overcooked. However, if you are a friend of carefully cooked meat, this recipe is not for you. Then again, you can bake the shank until the inner temperature is about 90°C (194°F). We stopped baking when the temperature was about 60°C (140°F).
In other words, it doesn’t mean hours of cooking in this case. Seasoning is another story: first you have to keep the shank in salt and sugar water for about 24 hours and after that you have to marinate it for about 10 hours in a herb marinade. It’s not too laborious but does require time.
Likewise, all the recipes advice you to buy one shank/diner. Well, it definitely depends on the size of the shank. We bought one weighing about one kilo, which really was more than enough for two diners.
Creamy garlic potatoes go nicely with lamb shank. The recipe for the potatoes can be found on this page after the recipe for lamb shank. And after the potatoes there is still a recipe for a fresh salad that goes well with the other two dishes.
PORTION: 2 persons
TIME TO MAKE: Salting 24 hours, marinating 10 hours, baking 1 hour
- 1 lamb shank weighing about one kilo
- 2 l water
- 150 gr sea salt
- 100 gr sugar
- 1 dl olive oil
- a handful of chopped fresh parsley
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped thyme
- 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped rosemary
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice
Bring the salted and sugared water to boil in a suitable size of kettle and let the broth cool down before putting the shank into it. Let it season for about 24 hours in a cool place.
Next day dry the shank with a paper towel and put it in a plastic bag with the marinade. Rub the marinade evenly all over the shank and let it season for about ten hours – or even longer if you have time.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (428°F)
Put the shank in a roasting bag and roasting thermometer right in the middle of the thickest part of the roast.
Seal the bag but remember to cut a hole on the upper corner of the bag, otherwise the bag will burst.
Set aside while you’re making the garlic potatoes.
We roasted our shank until the temperature was 62°C (143°F), but you can roast it even longer if you want to have evenly cooked lamb. Just remember that the meat easily turns dry if cooked too long.
CREAMY GARLIC POTATOES
PORTION: 2-3 persons
TIME TO MAKE: preparation 15 minutes, baking about one hour
- 6 middle sized floury potatoes
- 3 dl cream
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1½ tablespoons of seasoned salt (in my opinion Meira’s seasoned salt is best)
Preheat the oven to 220°C (428°F)
Grease a suitable size casserole.
Peel the potatoes and cut them in thin slices or like French fries.
Arrange in layers: first potato slices/stripes (two potatoes) and spread three minced garlic cloves evenly on the potatoes. Add some black pepper. Then potato slices/stripes (two potatoes) and three minced garlic cloves, add some black pepper. Then two potatoes again on the top.
Mix the seasoned salt with cream and pour on the potatoes. Put some butter pats on the top and bake for about one hour or until potatoes are evenly cooked and smooth.
APPLE AND CELERY SALAD
This recipe does not tell you how much of the different ingredients to use. You just make as much as you need…
- Iceberg lettuce
- Ginat sorrel
- Spring onion
- sugar, salt, lemon pepper
- vegetable or truffle oil
- light balsamico dressing
Cut apple and cucumber in small cubes. Cut the celery and spring onion shafts in small pieces. Then cut the lettuce in suitable size pieces. Mix all and spice slightly with salt, sugar and lemon pepper. Pour in some oil as well as some balsamico dressing. Mix and serve.