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Cooking Tougher Cuts Of Meat

Asked by Shaheer. Answered on 25th February 2019

Full question

How can I cook lamb leg, shank or even beef so that the meat is melting from the bone and extremely tender? Whenever I cook the meat it always gets dry and very hard. I have a simple gas oven. Also can you help me and explain how I can add colour to my meat before or after roasting it?

Aromatic Lamb Shank Stew
Photo by Francesca Yorke
Aromatic Lamb Shank Stew
By Nigella
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Our answer

Tougher cuts of meat are always best slow cooked, covered and with some liquid to help prevent the meat from drying out. For cuts with a lot of connective tissue, such as lamb shanks and beef shanks, then stewing is the most popular form of cooking and we would suggest trying Nigella's Aromatic Lamb Shank Stew. The shanks are cooked in a gently spiced sauce and the dish is cooked on the stove top rather than in an oven.

Lamb leg is best either served slightly pink, so that it isn't dry, or very slow cooked so that it is falling off the bone. For a pink lamb leg we suggest trying the Herbed Leg Of Lamb. At the bottom of the recipe you will find a guide of how to calculate the cooking time for the weight of your lamb leg. For meat that is falling off the bone you should use a very low heat and long cooking time. We would suggest following the cooking instructions in Nigella's Warm Shredded Lamb Salad With MInt And Pomegranate. This recipe is for lamb shoulder but the slow cooking technique should also work for a lamb leg and the meat is cooked in a low oven, covered loosely with foil and with some liquid in the pan. If you want to brown the lamb before cooking then do this in little oil in a hot pan on the hob. If you are making the Herbed Leg Of Lamb then you shouldn't need to brown the lamb first, but if you do then you should do it before adding the herby paste.

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