Have you tried grilling or roasting lamb shank, otherwise known as the shins of a leg of lamb? Although it can be a little tough, the shank is actually very flavorful and can be melting-off-the-bone delicious if prepared correctly.
The ideal way to cook a lamb shank is to braise it which will break down all the connective tissue. Simply season the meat with salt and pepper, sear it on all sides in a Dutch oven pot on the stove, add a couple of onions, a few cloves of garlic, fresh herbs, beef stock, and maybe a touch of red wine. Then place it in the oven for a couple of hours until the lamb is tender.
When first cooked, definitely serve it with creamy mashed potatoes or polenta but store the leftover lamb in the fridge for some delicious sandwiches the next day.
You'll want to slice the meat very thinly which will be easier to do when it's cold out of the fridge. Once sliced, you can heat it or just eat at room temperature. Pile the slices of lamb onto a soft round of pita, naan, or your favorite flatbread along with chopped vegetables, fresh parsley or even mint, and a great sauce. Tzatziki would be traditional with lamb, but this recipe for a creamy yogurt-based tahini sauce makes a delicious change. Wrap these sandwiches up for lunch on the go or a picnic in the park.
- For the Sandwich:
- Cooked lamb shank (sliced very thinly)
- 1 cup lettuce or baby spinach
- 2 rounds pita or naan bread
- 1 tomato (diced)
- 1/4 seedless English cucumber (diced)
- 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
- 1/4 cup yogurt tahini sauce
- For the Yogurt Tahini Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons sesame paste (tahini)
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek-style yogurt
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic (peeled and finely minced)
- Salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
- Optional: 1 to 2 teaspoons water
Add the sesame paste, Greek-style yogurt, water, lemon juice, and finely minced garlic clove to a bowl. Whisk together until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add another teaspoon or two of water if you want the mixture thinner.
Slice the leftover lamb shank as thinly as possible. If you prefer the lamb warm, fry it for a few minutes in a cast iron pan or skillet and a tablespoon of olive oil. You can also place the lamb in an aluminum foil packet, drizzle on the olive oil, seal and warm in a 350 F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Place the lettuce or baby spinach leaves on the two pita or naan bread rounds. Top with the thinly sliced lamb.
Add a sprinkling of the diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, and chopped parsley to each.
Drizzle with the yogurt tahini sauce and serve.