OK, this post changes pace just a bit and we’re talking about sous vide cooking. This time, however, we did a flavorful but tough cut of meat and cooked it for days. Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?
I have had a lonely little lamb shank in my freezer for about 6 weeks. You see, I love lamb shanks. I love osso bucco done with lamb shanks but, then again, I love osso bucco. We have a little Italian Restaurant (Paesano’s Ristorante) near the house that has traditional osso bucco with veal shanks as the specialty of the house. While they have other really good food items on the menu, I always order the osso bucco. Slowly braised veal shanks in vegetables with wine and tomatoes. It is absolutely sublime. You have a rich, meaty unctuousness from the bone marrow which is perfectly balanced with the wine and tomato, topped with a little gremolata. Absolutely heavenly. I’m getting really hungry just typing this and I digress. I actually bought the lamb shank to make osso bucco but there was only one. It takes roughly 4 hours to braise the shank and make the dish and if you’re going to make one, you might as well make 2 – 4. The problem is Baby Lady doesn’t like lamb. I was going to make it when Knothead came down for his 22nd birthday but he wanted rack of lamb, instead. So, there I sat with 1 lonely little lamb shank. :( Then I visited Stefan Boer’s Blog, Stefan’s Gourmet Blog. Lo and behold, there it was – a post for lamb shanks sous vide. Now Stefan is really into sous vide. If you want to learn sous vide techniques, go check out his blog. He has also been asking me when I was going to do more sous vide posts. Also, Mimi Rippee of Chef Mimi’s Blog is into sous vide and has been posting several sous vide posts. So, I have been wanting to pull out my sous vide unit and make something. This was the perfect chance and this is what I did.
- 1 lonely lamb shank
- several sprigs of garden fresh thyme
- olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Lightly oil the lamb shank.
Rub and roll it to make sure you have a good coating of oil on the shank.
Season with salt
and freshly ground black pepper
Place in a vacuum seal bag and arrange thyme sprigs around it
Place in water bath set up at 62 C/144 F
Cook for 48 hours. Yes, I’m not joking. 48 hours cooking time. This very low heat, slow cooking technique will provide you a very moist, tender lamb shank.
After 48 hours, remove the lamb shank from the water bath and cut open. Notice all of those juices that have collected in the bag while cooking.
Pour the juices into a small pan
and bring to a boil. Because the lamb has cooked at such a low temperature, the lamb juices are full of denatured protein, mostly comprising the same proteins that make up egg whites. They will form a scum on top of the liquid that, if not removed, will affect the smooth mouthfeel of the sauce because it has a grainy texture. Boiling the juices causes the proteins to cook, form a scum and float to the top so they can be removed.
I also had some leftover demi-glace from Knothead’s birthday, so I added it to the juices, as well.
Now, strain the juices into a small sauce pot with a very fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
Add a little red wine
Return to the stove over medium heat and reduce the liquid until it thickens to form a beautiful red wine sauce.
While the sauce is reducing, brown the lamb shank over high heat.
Place on a dinner plate
Plate accompanying sides and ladle sauce over the top.
Serve & enjoy! I most certainly did. :)