Lamb shoulder shanks? That was a new one on me, having roasted lamb shanks for numerous dinners in the past. Combined with spicy chorizo and textured pinto beans, and cooked low and slow to extract the rich flavours, this made for a stunning meal on a sunny evening.
Braised Lamb Shoulder Shank with Chorizo
Lamb Shoulder Shanks?
You’ve probably heard of lamb shanks, also known as leg shanks. However, lamb shoulder shanks may be something new (or, indeed, less ordinary), they were to me. Smaller than leg shanks, they benefit from a long, slow cook. I chose a braising recipe, adapted from one in Shaun Hill’s excellent book Salt is Essential.
As with many of the other interesting cuts of meat you’ll find in this blog, the lamb shoulder shanks came from Turner and George (no commercial connection).
- Large casserole dish with lid (safe to use on a stove)
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Measuring jug
- 4 lamb shoulder shanks
- 50g chorizo sausage
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stick
- 1 x 400g tin pinto beans
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 smoked garlic cloves
- 250ml red wine
- 250ml water
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- Cracked black pepper
- Apple smoking chunk (optional)
- If cooking this in a Big Green Egg, set the Egg up for indirect cooking and heat to 135°C/275°F. If using a smoking chunk, once the coals are glowing and the Egg’s temperature is stable, toss on the chunk and wait for the thin blue line of smoke.
- Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery stick and chorizo sausage (skin removed). Crush the garlic cloves. Drain and wash the pinto beans.
- Heat the rapeseed oil in a large pan, then add the shoulder shanks and brown them, turning frequently. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add in the carrot, onion, garlic and celery, stir in for 2-3 mins. Then add in the pieces of chorizo, tinned tomatoes, drained carrots and 250ml water. Stir together and simmer for 5 mins, then add the red wine and stir in.
Cooking on a stove
- Put the lid on the casserole dish and simmer for 2 hours (or until the sauce has reduced according to taste). Check every 30 mins and adding a little more water (or wine) if the liquid has reduced too much.
Cooking in a Big Green Egg
- Transfer the casserole dish to the Egg and close the Egg’s dome. Cook for 1 hour, stirring the sauce after 30 mins. Leave the lid off the dish to allow smoke flavours to integrate.
- After 1 hour, stir the sauce again and place the lid on the casserole dish. Cook for a further 1 hour, stirring the sauce occasionally.
- Check that the sauce is ready after an hour, cook for a little longer if you’d like it reduced some more. I cooked it for a further 30 mins to get extra flavour.
Hints, Tips and Pictures
- You could probably do this with standard lamb shanks if shoulder shanks are not available.