Lamb Shank Sous Vide with Red Wine Sauce

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

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.

Ingredients

  • 1 lonely lamb shank
  • several sprigs of garden fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instruction

Lightly oil the lamb shank.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Rub and roll it to make sure you have a good coating of oil on the shank.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Season with salt

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

and freshly ground black pepper

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Place in a vacuum seal bag and arrange thyme sprigs around it

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

vacuum seal

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Place in water bath set up at 62 C/144 F

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

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.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Pour the juices into a small pan

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

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.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

I also had some leftover demi-glace from Knothead’s birthday, so I added it to the juices, as well.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Now, strain the juices into a small sauce pot with a very fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Add a little red wine

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Return to the stove over medium heat and reduce the liquid until it thickens to form a beautiful red wine sauce.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

While the sauce is reducing, brown the lamb shank over high heat.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Place on a dinner plate

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Plate accompanying sides and ladle sauce over the top.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Serve & enjoy! I most certainly did. :)

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

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23 thoughts on “Lamb Shank Sous Vide with Red Wine Sauce

  1. Richard, this is absolutely gorgeous! I have never prepared meat like this. . thank you for the step-by-step photos. . this will certainly help me! Just gorgeous and delicious!! and I’m lusting over all of your very cool kitchen gadgets! Wow! That wine pourer thing/cap on the bottle and what are you using to drizzle on your olive oil? how awesome is that?

    • Thanks, Alice. :) It’s a very interesting technique and I like to play with my food. ;) When you’re going to cook something for this many hours, a sous vide set up is an absolute must. You can accomplish a similar result by simply slow braising in the oven. I actually have 2 veal shanks in the freezer right now specifically for the purpose of making Quickstep and myself osso bucco. It will have all the details and photos for slow, oven braising. I will serve it with a risotto. Mm good!
      The wine pourer is The Keeper wine preservation system. It allows me to drink partial bottles of wine without fear of them going bad overnight due to oxidation. It is attached to a Nitrogen Canister and dispenses similar to a soda dispenser. It works. :) Before I bought it I always felt compelled to drink an entire bottle of wine in an evening which resulted in me drinking too much. This solved that problem. :)
      The stainless steel canister for the olive oil is a fusti. We bought if from the olive press and holds roughly 3 litres of olive oil. We go through a lot of olive oil and the fusti allows us to buy olive oil in bulk which is 40% cheaper than buying individual bottles.

  2. Just made two rather large lamb shanks for the wife and me following your directions pretty exactly (except I used a torch at the end). Fantastic! Served with spinach and fresh white corn. Only a fork was needed, and not necessarily a sharp one. Many thanks Richard!

    • Thanks, Ken, for dropping by and leaving a comment on your making this recipe. We always are delighted when someone actually makes our recipes and even more delighted when they provide us feedback. We’re glad you and you wife enjoyed the lamb shank sous vide. I thoroughly enjoy cooking sous vide and probably need to more of it. The meat is always perfectly cooked and tough pieces are so tender, juicy and full of flavor. Thanks, again, for taking the time to leave your comment. :)

  3. Awesome! I had never experienced, or even known of, this style of cooking and was blown away! I served it with Champagne Risotto and it was divine! Can you cook multiple shanks in a single vacuum seal bag, or do you suggest separate bags for each? I’m now following your blog and can’t wait to try some of your other beautiful offerings! Next is Carne Adovada. I live in SoCal and my mouth is already watering!

    • Hi, Don. Thanks for finding us and taking the time to post your nice compliment. If you are interested in sous vide cooking, the blog you need to read and follow is Stefan’ Gourmet Blog, http://stefangourmet.com. He really is the master of sous vide. I just tinker with my setup. He cooks with his all the time and his technique is spot on. He is very well read on the subject and even does taste tests of various proteins at different temperature to determine the effect on flavor and texture. Definitely check out his blog.
      To answer your question, I would use separate vacuum seal bags for each shank. You probably could use a single bag as long as you ensured the shanks were not touching each other so as to impact the evenness of the cooking process.

      • Thanks for the pointer Richard. I’ll look at Stefangourmet.com. BTW, I’ve made the Carne Adovada multiple times, experimenting with several dried chile combinations. What a wonderful dish! There is a Salvadoran eatery in Culver City called Gloria’s Cafe (seen on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives) where she serves the dish…the only place I’ve ever seen it. It’s excellent, but your recipe adds more depth and earthiness, which I like. Thanks again, Don

  4. I’ve been wanting to try this cut of meat with my SV setup for a while. I was worried about the bone puncturing the bag and had been told to wrap it in that heavy butchers paper…..
    Hoping my local market has nice Lamb Shanks now so I can fire up the circulator and get it going… Thx for the writeup – it came out on top of my google search results.

    • Hi, Bill. Thanks for checking us out. I would not wrap the shanks in butcher paper. The butcher paper will more than likely flavor your meat due to the long cooking time and it’s unnecessary. If you’re worried about puncturing the plastic bag, use a thicker bag available from Food Saver and cut it to your needs. Alternatively, use 2 bags. I had no problem and sealed it for 30 seconds in my chamber vac until it reached roughly 32 psi.

  5. Pingback: Sous Vide Lamb Shanks | Blogs for Industry

  6. Just followed your recipe and put two fresh front lamb shanks into the sous vide…Will see them again in 48 hours! Thanks for the simple recipe!

  7. Thank you for this. I’d been cooking steaks sous-vide using an old pressure cooker, thermometer and constant fiddling with the hob and just recently decided to bite the bullet and get a proper sous-vide water bath. Today was my wedding anniversary and my wife loves lamb shanks, so this recipe was perfect. I’ve been hiding the fact that I’ve been cooking for the past 48 hours and it’s worked out brilliantly! The meat just fell off the bone and tasted delicious.

    PJW

  8. I have now made these lamb shanks several times. A real favorite around here! However I now use a truly yummy dunking sauce for the lamb rather than the wine sauce. I can post it here, or you can e-mail me at KenOC@outlook.com for the short recipe.

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