If you just came for the recipe and couldn’t care less about much else (yeah, I get it) – scroll past the next paragraph.
However, if you like the bit of rambling about the recipe or titbits about my and my family’s life, whatever I felt like doing for the post, the blog is after the recipe.
Creole Style Slow Roasted Lamb HindShanks
- 2 lamb hindshanks
- 1/2 tbsp lard
- 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 240 ml beef stock (1 cup)
- 240 ml water (1 cup)
- Preheat fan-assisted oven to 125 deg C or 255 deg F.
- Pat each lamb hindshank dry with kitchen paper.
- Combine the smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, ground ginger, dry mustard, garlic powder in a bowl.
- Rub each hindshank with the seasoning mix.
- Melt the lard in a large frying pan on a high heat.
- Sear all sides of both the lamb shanks. You might need to hold them in place to get all the sides browned.
- Place the seasoned shanks into a deep baking tray and cover with aluminium foil to make a tented seal around the shanks.
- Roast in the oven for 4 hours.
At one time, pre-children and pre-paleo diet, my husband and I, through my husband’s work scored an invite to a new restaurant opening up. Expecting a gourmet slap-up meal to be ours come evening time, we denied ourselves for the whole day!
We arrived at our destination, stomachs rumbling, slavering with expectation. We were seated at a little table. We were handed chocolate brown menus with gold writing. We perused the beautiful, gilded list of dishes we could choose, ours for the asking. We… well, we were utterly confused! Somebody had taken a Masters in posh-chef-speak and wanted to show everyone what they could do. Every dish, luckily there were only about five, or we would still be there, had a half a page of the menu dedicated to describing it. Undeterred, my husband and I set to deciphering, but, without a chef’s dictionary at hand, we could only do our best. I recognised the word beef! A-ha! I choose you, number three, you beefy… something! Cooked to medium, please! I prefer not to have a pool of blood on my plate. My husband believed he had chosen pork – he would know for sure when it arrived – he hoped.
We were told we had a choice of side dishes! Oh, the excitement! These side dishes, we were informed, would be presented alongside our main course for our dining pleasure! Yummy!
We looked for these wonderous side dishes and found them on their very own page; two delicious offerings. Available for our pleasure were slender-sliced pommes de your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine and something I had never heard of. Both sounded as though the chefs had been working non-stop for a week to produce them. They must be delicious. What were they? The mystery of mysteries. I had to know to make my choice. I asked the waitress. They would be chips (French fries for Americans) or mashed potato. Hmmm! I chose chips.
We ordered. We waited. Our mouths watered in anticipation.
And we waited, and we waited, and we waited a bit more…
And a bit more…
And, just another bit more…
Finally! We were served!
The plates were huge! Enormous, ornate, gleaming, white squares. I sat up straight as it was placed gently before me. I was ready to begin my delicious meal.
I looked down.
In the precise centre (I think someone had a ruler in the kitchen) of this enormous, white plate was a small, upright tube of… something. It didn’t look like beef, at this point it was unrecognisable. Off to one side, there was one sprig of thyme, which looked like too much herb for the slender tube thing in the plates’ centre. Next to the sprig were two dots of a brown substance. Presuming myself to be shortchanged, I looked over at my husband’s plate to compare. His contained an equally lonesome looking thing in the centre; a circular, pale blob. However, his, at least, looked pork-like. Envy narrowed my eyes! He, also, had a similarly placed sprig of thyme (perhaps other herbs were unavailable?); however, his dots were red and not brown. At least, I thought, to myself. I have chips. Well, I don’t right now, but, hopefully, I will soon.
Let’s start. I picked up my fork and prodded the mysterious tube, it stayed upright. Well, at least the construction was sturdy, a budding engineer in the kitchen perhaps? I pushed a bit more; something fell. I peered closer. It looked like some fat/herb coating and, there, just underneath, was the comforting look of beef. Aahhh! Okay, so not quite as much as I would like but beef nonetheless and, I have chips, eventually – when they arrive.
I gathered up some of the fat/herb coating and put it in my mouth. It tasted like lard and basil. Not unpleasant, but not exploding with taste either, pretty much like lard plus basil tastes. I scraped it off my mini-beef tower revealing the meat, itself, in all of its splendour! I cut into the beef and discovered beneath the slimmest veneer of brown, cooked meat was very raw beef. Blood seeped out onto my plate, my sprig of thyme was stained, and it ruined my brown dots – I never did find out what they were.
I looked up to see my husband looking at me. He knows I am not enthusiastic about raw/rare meat. In his gentlemanly fashion, he asked if I wanted to swap my two mouthfuls of raw beef for three mouthfuls of okay pork. I considered and declined. That’s love! Besides, I have chips! Eventually! My husband stopped the waitress. Chips, please? Of course! They are just coming!
I scraped around the tube of meat, removing the veneer of browned beef away from the rest. I think I made a half a forkful. My husband ate his pork in tiny pieces. He said that all three mouthfuls were very nice. He believed his red dots to be raspberry flavoured, but there wasn’t enough for him to be sure. I offered him my raw tube of beef; he declined.
At least, we would have chips; we looked for the chips. Chips, please? Of course! Just coming!
We waited, hungrily staring at two plates with identical thyme sprigs. The waitress came to clear the table. Chips, please? Of course! Just coming!
We sipped our drinks. A waitress approached with the dessert menu. Would we like dessert? Well, yes, we would, but we would like our main meal first. Chips? Oh, didn’t we get them? No, we didn’t. Could you bring them? Well, no, she was the dessert waitress. Oh! Where is the chips waitress? Over there, serving chips to other people that are not us. Can you ask her to bring out chips? Of course! Just coming! However, if we choose a dessert, it can wait until after the chips come.
We perused the sleek, stylish dessert menu with paragraph-long explanations for each of the five desserts available. They sounded delicious and almost understandable!
I chose something with chocolate – obviously! My husband opted for something cheesecake sounding. The waitress returned. Have we chosen desserts? Yes, we have! However, we still don’t have any chips! Oh didn’t you get the chips? No! Just coming! We placed our dessert order.
We did not have to wait very long, but it was the desserts that came and not the chips. Chips, please? What chips? We decided at that point that despite monumental effort on our parts, we had lost the chips fight. Whatever these fabulously made chips were, we would never be able to taste them. We focused instead on the desserts; we really focused! They needed a magnifying glass! One thing I can say is that the desserts we had were delicious, the whole teaspoonful of it!
When we left, I told my husband to take me to a certain fast-food chain, which shall remain nameless, where I order the biggest meal on the menu plus lots of extras, my husband had the same. Yummy, yummy! Finally, some food!
I thought of that evening so long ago because, despite being utterly delicious, lamb foreshanks fail to fill. In fact, I find lamb cutlets, steaks, lamb anything to be unsubstantial, and it’s such an expensive meat it makes me feel cheated. Lamb hindshanks are a bit different and great for us hungry people! Unlike their front end counterparts, they tend to have a bit more meat on them. Enough for even the most carnivorous of beasts! Who? Me?
The hindshank, just like the foreshank, or anything lamb related I have found, is best slow roasted; so, ready up some time for this recipe. But, in all honesty, once you get it the lamb in the oven, you set the timer and forget about it until it beeps at you – easy peasy! The actual time you spend in the kitchen having to cook, which, to me, is more in question than the overall cooking time, is about 15 mins. This makes these smokey flavoured lamb hindshanks a pretty quick recipe. So, if you want something a little bit different to the rosemary and thyme and garlic affair to which lamb is usually subjected, this could be it. The herb rub flavouring is relatively mild and allows the oh-so-tasty lamb meat to remain centre stage as far as taste is concerned, and there’s enough to eat that you won’t need a grab a burger afterwards!