Sous Vide: Oregon Lamb Shanks, 2021

Oregon lamb are quite large compared to those from Australia and New Zealand--one shank is large enough to feed 4...

Ingredients

Oregon lamb shank, sliced into four portions, 1 each/person.
Powdered egg white, as needed.
Favored seasoning blend, your own or one of ours.
Vegetable oil, a few drops.

 

Optional components:
Barley, dried, about 1 oz/30 g/person.
Butter, 0.5 oz/15 g/person.
Clarified sous jus, as explained below, 0.5 oz/15 ml/person.
Cream, 0.5 oz/15 ml/person.
Fresh thyme, as needed.

Grape tomatoes, assorted, as needed.
Extra virgin olive oil, a few drops.

Espagnole or the equivalent, a drizzle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equipment requirements
Immersion circulator, portable or stationary.
Heat rated Lipavi container, minimum of 2 gallons/8 liters.
Lipavi L10 rack or larger.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Thick bottomed skillet, approximately 12″/35 cm.
Infrared thermometer.

Above: Lipavi C10 container, N10 polycarbonate racks. Lipavi C10L lid.

Serves 1 slice/person
Level of difficulty 3.0

This large hind shank was cut into four slices.

Procedure:  

Arrange the shanks on parchment. Make sure the hole in the bone is facing up.

Preheat your sous vide bath to 140 F/60 CVacuum seal the individual lamb shanks in heat rated plastic bags. Sous vide process the packages initially for 36 hours. Use the method explained HERE to verify your desired level of tenderness.

When the interval has elapsed, shock the packages in iced water until they achieve 70 F/21 C. Refrigerate at 40 F/4 C until day of service. The sealed lamb shanks can be safely refrigerated in this state for at least two weeks.

Remove the packages from the refrigerator and submerge in hot tap water (or an operating sous vide bath) for five minutes to loosen the gel.

Cut a hole in the plastic pouch(es) and drain the juices into a microwaveable container or small sauce pan. Add one cup/225 ml water and either 2 teaspoons powdered egg white or one fresh egg white and beat well.

Bring the juices just to a boil. This will coagulate the albumins and myoglobin. We poured the hot juices through a reusable coffee filter to strain out the impurities.

For more information about clarification, visit the link HERE.

Day of service

Rinse the shanks in cold water to remove any remaining debris and lay them out on parchment.

Again, make sure the hole in the bone is facing up.

This is another benefit of using sous vide to process the shanks. Traditional, high temperature methods have a tendency to melt and thereby dissolve the marrow. Sous vide will preserve its structural integrity.

Dust with powdered egg white (or fresh if preferred, sparingly).

Mist with water to liquify the egg whites (not necessary if you use fresh).

Allow a few moments to dissolve. Preheat your oven to 350 F/176 C.

Sprinkle with your favorite seasonings or one of our recipes linked HERE.

Mist or drizzle lightly with oil.

Roast the shanks for 45 minutes at 350 F/176 C.

Brush the shanks lightly with Dijon mustard–a little bit goes a long way.

Dust with fine crumbs mixed with parsley and a little paprika. Mist lightly with oil.

Roast for another fifteen minutes. The shanks are then ready to serve.

Above: Approximately 3 Tablespoons of barley per 1 cup/225 ml of water is boiled until tender, usually about 45 minutes. It is then drained and cooled. At service, soften further by simmering in the clarified lamb sous jus and finished with the cream, butter and fresh thyme. Use clarified sous jus to fortify the Espagnole and then drizzle around the circumference. Reserve a few leaves of the thyme to sprinkle over the finished dish.

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About

While present day tastes lean more towards beef and pork, lamb was a favored comestible even before biblical times. As long as sheep are harvested at a relatively young age, the meat is tender and there is not an excessive amount of fat. The collagen-rich shanks of any livestock are particularly good candidates for sous vide because of its pinpoint command of texture.