Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Braised Lamb Shank in garlic foam – Big Disappointment!

First I do not eat lamb, and I just cannot stand the gamey taste. There have been many times when everybody told me the lamb at a certain restaurant had no gamey taste, and I've tried, but the musky "gamey" taste is always there. Since both my hubby and son love lamb, I want to learn how to make this dish for them. So I found a recipe for lamb shank in Chef Sam Leong's recipe book. I followed the recipe to the dot and cannot tell what went wrong. I am not happy with the result of this dish. My food critic said the flavor was good but my lamb shank is not tender enough. I did not know that it is so difficult to get it right. No wonder I don't like it. LOL! I would love to hear your opinion on this. Any of you dear friends have a good lamb shank recipe, please point me to it ok? Pretty please?

Adapted from Chef Sam Leong’s recipe

60g lamb shank,
½ tsp cooking oil
40g Edmame beans
salt to taste

50g diced carrot
50g diced celery
3g rosemary
3g thyme
1 bay leaf
160ml chicken stock
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp tomato paste
2 tsp red wine
Garlic Foam:
20g peeled garlic
50ml chicken stock
30g whipping cream
½ tsp salt

Pink peppercorns

Pan sear lamb shank until brown on all sides. Place a pot with sauce ingredients and braise for 1 hr. Reserve shanks but discard other ingredients. Deep fry whole garlic until brown. Steam with chicken stock for 30 mins until garlic is soft. Add cream and process mixture in a blender until foamy. Season with salt. Heat oil and sauté edamame beans. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Place edamame beans on a plate, top with lamb shanks and spoon garlic foam over. Sprinkle with pink peppercorns and chives.


  1. It looks good to me! But you know what, if you go to Xinjiang, the lamb there really doesn't have gamey taste because of the environment and the kind of grass they are fed on!

  2. wah this looks like professional cooking! i wish i got a good recipe for you but i don't eat lamb haha! will keep a look out for u!

  3. Don't you get credit for the fact that it looked beautiful? :) I don't like lamb either so I'm no help with recipes.

  4. i dont eat lamb too. but yours look so nicely cooked and decorated (: if im not wrong, just like chicken, normal and kampung chicken is different as the latter have a more tender meat. similarly for lamb, im sure air flown from certain country yield a more tender meat. and they have a cert to verify that they are rear and fed on what type of food. of course the price would be more expensive but worth it for those who appreciate it (:

  5. I love love love lamb, and yours looks better than some I've seen from so-called fancy restaurants.

    Lamb is like any other red meat. If overcooked, texture will be tough. At the first stage of searing, you have to be careful to just cook the outside (like 2mm max) to seal in the juices. This stage is not meant to cook the meat inside. (I'm sure you already know this.)

    Assuming that's what you did, then the next stage is to braise on low slow heat. 1 hour as the recipe states is the minimum I guess. I've heard of chefs braising their shanks for half a day to get that melt-in-the-mouth texture.

    Well, I'm no great cook in lamb, but hope these might offer some clues. Kudos to you for preparing a dish for your family, even though you're not fond of it. I'm sure they felt the love :) And that's what matters most.

  6. The foam looks so super cool! I am going to be so unhelpful here because I'm with you about lamb!

  7. I don't like lamb either. Like you, many people told me that certain restaurant lamb dish doesn't have gamey smell but I can detect the smell from miles away even before trying it ha ha.. I love the look of this dish. It looks really festive.

  8. I am the same as you, I cannot eat lamb because of it's gamey taste. I cannot even stand the smell. My Dad and hubby always say (at certain restaurants) that this lamb has no gamey taste at all, but I just don't believe them. It's not them, it's just that my tastebuds can really detect lamb even if others say it's not gamey at all. When hubby wants lamb, he'll look for a recipe, try it himself and then if he likes it, then I go and learn it. Wish I could help you here, but when it comes to lamb I'm lost.

  9. I must admit that I don't care for lamb myself. However, I commend your gumption in making it for your son and husband!

  10. I can't comment much as I never cook lamb before and have yet to venture in...Maybe you should consider to cook it using pressure cooker as this cooker is perfect for braise tough meat.

  11. looks like there's a good mixture folks not liking lamb while others simply love it! I guess I belong to the "love it!" group.

    Your rendition from Sam Leong's recipe looks very professional. As good as those served on haute restaurant tables!

  12. Personally, I don't think 1 hour is enough for that big piece of shank. 1 hour in pressure cooker is more like it. If you didn't comment on the recipe, the picture tells a different story, it looks perfect.

    My hubby is a super fan of lamb, no smell no eat, haha. He said, why eat lamb if it doesn't smell like lamb, better off eat beef.

  13. I love lamb,but I have to say if I was doing a lamb shank I would do it the same way as I do a pork shank and it would simmer for about 2 1/2 hours until it was almost falling off of the bone. ! hour does not sound nearly long enough to me. Diane P.S. I am crazy about the bracelet you sent me it looks sooooo nice on my wrist.

  14. minneville: If I ever go to Xinjiang, I will try the lamb there as you suggested. I am hopeful someday I will find lamb that has no gamey taste.

    Jess: Looks professional no use lah, must taste professional lor. heh.. thanks for keeping a look out of the recipe.

    Betty: You are right, I credit myself for the look of it:D

    Gertrude: Thanks for the compliment.

    LeQuan: You are right, our taste buds are extra sensitive for gamey taste.

    yumychunklet: Thanks:D

    Sonia: Good suggestion to use the pressure cooker. Unfortunately, don't have one.

    Alan: Thanks for the compliment I wish it taste as good as it looks.

    Wendy: That is what my son said also haha..Ya, you are right. When I saw the time, I am sceptical but since I have no experience with cooking lamb before , I thought I better follow strictly to the recipe.

    Jasmine: I believe you are right, lamb from different places are different. I must pay attention to this the next time I buy lamb.

    Eelin: Good points. Many thanks.

    Belinda: It is okay. Very hard for someone who does not eat lamb to offer any advice on lamb dishes. Nevermind about the help, your visits is more important.

  15. Diane: The next time I do the lamb shank, I will take into consideration of all the advice I get from you guys. I am thrill to hear that you love the bracelet. I am sure anything that you wear will look good on you. You are a beautiful lady!

  16. Hi Veronica-Lamb is strictly a Mediterranean style dish, that needs rustic flavors, and lots of red wine, not just a "smidgen". It also need herbs, such as...and almost, always, fresh rosemary, which will take away the gamey flavor, and so will the red wine. at least 1 cup of red wine, and even a teaspoon of red wine vinegar.

    The Greeks like to use fresh mint, and Italians like lots of garlic and onions. First, you have to marinade the lamb shank in the wine, the spices, which is just basic, and then flour it, and sear it...then add the onions, carrots, (not tomato paste)...tomato sauce, and simmer it in a deep pot, or even a slow cooker, making sure that it has the juices. Lamb shank requires, a long cooking process, for at least 2 1/2 hrs. and at least 6 to 8 hrs. in the slow cooker.

    You will not have any gamey smell, or taste, at all. Instead of using chicken broth, you need beef broth, and even a splash of Worcestershire sauce.

    That's what the big raving is what it's all about...and one more thing, you can stud garlic pieces right into the meat!
    Wish I had a nice lamb shank right now, and I'd "go to town with it"...LOL

    Not to offend you, but you did a beautiful job with your lamb shank, but never use, chicken broth, or any kind of cream with it. The cream only intensifies, the gamey flavor, which makes it taste strong. The only lamb that requires short cooking time, is the rack of lamb, which is always served rare!

  17. Elisabeth: Thank you so much for taking time to teach me how to make lamb shanks. I greatly appreciate your generosity in sharing with me your knowledge. I have noted down everything you said and the next time I try to make a lamb shank dish, I will take the advice you gave me into consideration. Oh, you are welcome to point out my mistake anytime and will never offend me. On the contrary, I am grateful that you are helping me to improve in my cooking:D

  18. sorry your disappointment. Next time you will find nice recipe.

  19. Lamb shank curry is fantastic. It becomes so tender after its cooked on low heat for a long time. Braised shanks would be fantastic as well, braise it just like you braise pork. You can use the same marinade.

  20. It looks like heaven! Here in Greece we put the meat into a bowl with white vinegar and water for one day (in the refrigerator). This way the smell goes away. Of course herbs helps a lot!And we don't eat lamb rare medium. I would say medium well done. I will give you a recipe just to try it sometime. May it will work! Again, congrats for you presentation!

  21. It looks like heaven! Here in Greece we put the meat into a bowl with white vinegar and water for one day (in the refrigerator). This way the smell goes away. Of course herbs helps a lot!And we don't eat lamb rare medium. I would say medium well done. I will give you a recipe just to try it sometime. May it will work! Again, congrats for you presentation!

  22. Cook it for 3 hours at 325. I think your cooking time was way too short.
    Good luck!

  23. Your dish looks really good, and tempting but got to agree with you I don't like lamb that much either!
    You got some great advices here..however I can't stand the smell of the lamb!

  24. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you! The only thing I know about lamb is that it needs to be cooked on low heat for a few hours.

  25. It does look like it would be a gorgeous dish to try, but I have to side with you...I am just not a fan of lamb and that gamey taste you describe.
    I will keep an eye out for you for a reliable and delicious recipe if I come across one with good reviews.

  26. Too bad you didn't like the dish, because it certainly looks fantastic. I'm not a big fan of lamb myself.

  27. Hey your lamb dish looks so mouthwatering! I'm glad to make a new friend and follow your posts too..:)

  28. I love lamb dishes. Your shank looks really good! Shank needs long cooking time to make it tender. gamey taste depending on the origin of the meat. environment & food play a big part in how the meat tastes. NZ lamb is still the best I have tasted.

  29. I love your presentation!!

    I find that making lamb shanks needs patience. The last time I did it, it took me 4 hours or so in the oven. Even so I wish I cooked it slightly longer than that. This recipe is from Aus Women's Weekly (My presentation still needs work looking at yours!!)

    the other one I would recommend is

    Jamie Oliver's one is pretty decent too.

  30. Swathi: I definitely wil do this again with another recipe or maybe same recipe but cook the lamb longer as suggest by many of my friends here.

    Three Cookies, donkey and the carrot, Kate, Ellie: Thanks for sharing the tips. I appreciate it.

    Sandra: Yes, my friends are very generous in sharing their knowledge. I am very thankful.

    Bridgett: Do try and remember to cook longer. The flavor is good.

    Karen, Cathy: I like how it looks too but the taste is more important so I will definitely try doing it again.

    Plateful: Thanks for your compliment. Me too, very happy to be your friend.

    Lori, daphne: Many thanks for the advice and links. I appreciate it very much.

  31. Hi Quay,

    Sorry your lamb was a disappointment. Firstly lamb shanks need long slow cooking, 1 hour is just no enough to get the meat tender and falling off the bone. A shank does not work for medium or rare cooking, it has to fully cooked to be tender.

    Secondly, it is always cooked in juices i.e a gravy with herbs & spices to add flavour and aid in the tenderness of the meat once cooked through.

    It's usually served with a gravy or sauce too.

    The recipe you prepared looked delicious, but I think the method needs adapting and a sauce required too.

    Best of luck next time.

  32. it looks gorgeous! especially that garlic foam which i would love to try.
    I've braised short ribs before and if I were to braise lamb shanks, I would probably apply the same principles.

    but as others have already stated, an hour is just not long enough. you won't get the melt in your mouth, fall off the bone anything in an hour.
    It took me about 3 hours to get the meat to fall off the bone.

    I also think you might need more liquid, it has to fully cover the shank, but then again i don't know how much 160 mL...I used an entire bottle of red wine to cover the short ribs, so make sure you have enough liquid, and check to make sure it doesn't all evaporate.

    but NOW, i REALLY want lamb, so I might go buy some for this weekend! thank you for the inspiration! I hope this helps!

  33. Debs: Thanks for the advice. Points taken:D I wish you speedy recovery and be back home so that you can start cooking and share new recipes with us.

    Chris: Your advice definitely helps and so are all the advice from all my friends. You all are so generous in sharing you knowledge in cooking. Many Thanks!

  34. Hi,

    like to check where can i buy the lamb shank? places i go dont sell them. also places where they sell leg of lamb?

  35. Hi Mossy, thanks for dropping by my blog but I am of no help since you reside in Singapore. If in Malaysia, I can tell you where. I bought the lamb shank from Village Grocers in Bangsar, KL. Is here a If there is a Village Grocers in Singapore, I think you may find the lamb shank there.


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