Roasted lamb shank is a warming meal for a cold day. Lamb shank is cut from the lower leg of the sheep. It is not as tender as other cuts and is best cooked slowly. Lamb shank is most commonly braised -- cooked in an oven with water and vegetables -- but slow-roasted shank can be just as tender and is an easy meal for entertaining because it does not require constant attention.
Preheat the oven to 232 degrees Celsius.
Season the lamb. Rub it all over with olive oil to create a base for the herbs and spices to stick to the meat. Sprinkle on salt, pepper and dried rosemary and rub to cover each shank. Make shallow slits in the fleshy parts of the meat with a sharp, pointed knife and insert whole cloves of garlic.
Place the shanks in a pan and set in the centre of the oven. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes to sear the outside of the meat and seal in the juices. Turn the oven down to 93.3 degrees Celsius and cover with the pan's lid or a sheet of foil. After two hours, remove the pan from the oven. There should be meat juices in the bottom. Add peeled, whole, small onions and halved or quartered potatoes and yams. Roast for another hour. Steam or boil green beans or peas separately.
Remove the roast lamb shanks and vegetables from the pan and keep in a warm place. Mix 1 tbsp of flour in cold water until dissolved. Reheat the meat juices in the pan on the hob. Add the flour and water mixture, stirring continually to prevent sticking and lumpiness. Add water until the gravy is the right consistency -- just thick enough to coat the meat -- and cook for five minutes before pouring it into a gravy server.
Serve the roasted lamb shank with the vegetables and gravy. Don't forget the mint sauce. You can buy this ready made in most supermarkets.
You can line the pan with foil before roasting to minimise clean-up.
Tips and warnings
- You can line the pan with foil before roasting to minimise clean-up.