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Aromatic Lamb Shank Stew

Asked by MajaAdzija. Answered on 9th June 2015

Full question

Hello, I would really appreciate your recommendation. In Croatia we don't buy lamb shanks on their own - you have to buy the whole lamb or upper/lower part. If I substitute lamb shanks with beef or veal shanks in the Aromatic Lamb Shank Stew, what would I get (regarding taste)? Thank you very much, All the best, Maja

Our answer

NIgella's Aromatic Lamb Shank Stew (from Nigella Bites and on the Ngella website) slowly cooks lamb shanks with various spices. The shank is a cut of meat from the lower part of the leg. For lamb the shanks are not too big so you can allow one per person. But if you can only buya whole of half lamb then you will only get two to four shanks.

If you need to substitute something else then veal has a slightly milder flavour than beef and so would let the flavour of the spices shine. However the spices in the stew themselves would also work with beef. The main difference is that whole shanks of beef and veal are very large and so you would need to use slices of shank with the bone in (the type of cut you would use for osso bucco) and so the cooking time could vary slightly. As the stew is simmered gently on top of the stove then it is easier to keep an eye on the cooking, but we suspect that larger veal or beef shank slices would take about 1 1/2 hours to cook, and maybe slightly longer for beef. The meat should be tender and coming away from the bone. Fortunately the stew is best made a day or two in advance, cooled and refrigerated quickly and reheated gently before serving so do make ahead if you need to serve it at a specific time. And if using veal or lamb shanks then don't forget to have a small teaspoon handy to savour the nuggets of marrow inside the bones.

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