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keeperovdeflame

Lamb Shanks, It's all Greek to me !

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I love lamb, really, really, love lamb. My favorite lamb dish is lamb shanks. The lamb shank is the leg portion below the knee joint. They are not the best cut of lamb, and in many ways can be compared to briskett. They are solid muscle and work hard every day with every step the lamb takes. Like brisket they need a loving touch and a slow cook to bring out their hidden delicious magic. We just had a Whole Foods move into town and they had nice quality  lamb shanks. I have never done them on the kamado, so I was excited to try. IMO, Greeks are the hands down masters of lamb, there may be other opinions, but that is mine (I'm not Greek). I went to a web site I found called Kalofagas, for an authentic  lamb shank recipe I chose one called Braised Lamb Shanks and Beans (it has a Greek name that I can not begin to read or say). The recipe was designed to be cooked in a covered dutch oven in the kitchen oven, so I did a little tweaking to adapt it to my Egg. 

 

As it is only my wife and I, I cut the recipe back from 4 to 2 shanks. 

 

1 cup dried cannellini Beans (soaked in water overnight)

1/4 cup diced bacon

1/4 cup olive oil

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and  chopped (I used baby carrots)

3 medium onions, 2 sliced(  (one whole)

10 cloves of garlic whole (I used 8 large cloves) IMO it is impossible to add too much garlic to lamb. 

6 whole allspice berries (studed in the whole onion) Make little slits with a parring knife and push them in. 

2 bay leaves

1tsp smoked paprika

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup tomato puree (sauce)

coarse salt and fresh ground pepper

1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves

1 Tbs fresh rosemary leaves

 

Because I only have one Kamado and would need to hold a temp of 350, I used my Weber Genesis to fry the bacon in my Lodge Braiser, and to sear the shanks. (watch it, the shanks are full of fat and I had a mini grease fire in my drip pan , however, no harm no foul). After frying the bacon and searing the shanks. I combined the remaining ingredients in my Lodge, and put it in my Egg which was running at 350. The recipe called for cooking the shanks covered. But since I was using my Egg, I did not do this and used only the pan portion of my Lodge Braiser cooking the shanks uncovered. The recipe called for a 90 minute cook at 350, and then a check for liquid (needs to cover the shanks by half). Following the liquid check, the recipe calls for another 45 minutes at 350  for  a total of 2 hours 15 minutes. The shanks were amazing, the flavor was off the charts. But the next time I cook this dish I may try to go for 3 hours and   15 minutes. At 2:15 it was extremely tender but I think I could have made them even better with more time on the grill.  I complemented  this dish with a lovely red wine blend from Paso Robles called PayDirt. The photos got a little out of sequence, but you get the idea. Thanks for reading my post. 

 

 

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I like the Globals I have very much. I have the chefs you saw, a utility knife which is shaped very similar to the chefs but it's only about 5 inches long, and a parring knife. They are thin blades, but hold an edge very well. They are extremely light and well balanced. I sharpen them by hand with a ceramic wheel water stone made by the global company. I have some old Chicagos that I hold on to year after year. They were my first real knives. I use them for the  tough unknifely jobs. Next time your in Bed Bath and Beyond hold a global in your hand, I think you'l like it. 

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Thanks everyone for the very kind words. This was a fun cook and very tasty. The Chef who developed the recipe says you should take a bite of the dish and an alternating bite of a Kalmata Olive. Wow, those Greek flavors sure work with lamb. For those of you who like lamb, this is a wonderful, classic, rustic, dish. This dish  is something the shepherds would eat, as they would sell all the expensive and finer cuts of lamb, but learned out of necessity how to bring the flavor out of this tough piece of meat. Like a brisket or flank steak, lamb shanks come to full flavor with spice and a slow cook. 

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    • By DerHusker
      As we all know, our very own keeperovdeflame “loves Lamb Shanks and he cannot lie”. Of his many lamb shank cooks was this one, “Braised Lamb Shanks (Kokkinisto me Manestra)” that I’m presenting my version of as my Copycat Challenge Entry.
       
      Here a link to his original cook thread: https://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/16997-braised-lamb-shanks-kokkinisto-me-manestra/?tab=comments#comment-211730
       
      Here are most of the ingredients:

      Keeper posted the full recipe (for 6 shanks) and reduced the amounts down for 2 shanks. I ended up cooking 3 so I cut it back to what I thought would work for three shanks. Here are the amounts I used: (See recipe in keeper's thread for full recipe) 
       
       Spice Rub:
       1 1/2 tsp ground allspice,
      1 1/2 tsp ground toasted cumin
      1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
      1 1/2 tsp Spanish smoked sweet paprika
      1 1/2 tsp garlic powder. 
      1 tsp ground cinnamon
       
      I applied the rub to the shanks.

      I them wrapped them with cling wrap and refrigerated for 4 hours. 

      Here are the ingredients for the braising liquid and the veggies that went in with the shanks. (Not shown are the Rosemary and the Thyme)

       
      Ingredient list:
      3 lamb shanks
      sea salt / fresh ground pepper
      1/8 cup virgin olive oil
      2 yellow onions quartered
      1 whole garlic clove pealed and separated into individual cloves
      11/2 cup dry red wine
      1/4 cup tomato paste ( I didn’t have any paste so I used some diced tomatoes)
      4 bay leaves
      6 inch sprig rosemary
      8 sprigs fresh thyme
       
      I don’t have a CI braiser like keeper does so I picked out a an 11" heavy bottom SS skillet I had. After the 4 hours, I started out by placing in a bed of sliced onions.

      I poured in the OO and placed the shanks on top of the onions.

      Keeper browned his shanks in a CI skillet and then transferred them over to his braiser. I decided to brown / roast my shanks in the skillet on my Weber OTS for 30 minutes at approximately 450 degrees.

      After the 30 minutes were up I moved the skillet over to my preheated (to 210 degrees) Primo. I added the braising liquid, the veggies and the herbs

      and covered with the lid.

      I let this slow braise for 2 1/2 hours and then check it for tenderness.

      It was ready for the next stage so I removed the lid and turned the shanks over and opened up the vents.

      I took the heat up to 350

      and let them cook for approximately another 30 minutes (or until it’s fork tender) turning every 10 minutes. I also made some mashed potatoes and steamed some carrots while this was happening.

      Once they were fork tender I removed the shanks to a bowl and reduced the sauce a little to thicken it up.

      While the sauce was thickening I broke out some good Cabernet Sauvignon

      and put together my place setting. Here it is plated.

       

       

      Here’s a few more shots. Shank with some meat removed.

      Fork Shot.

      The "OMG That was good Shot!"

      Wow! I now know why keeper loves them.  
       
      Thanks for looking.
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