Are you craving for juicy and gamey lamb shank? Coming from the front and back of the lamb’s legs, this part contains a high amount of collagen. The collagen gives the cooked lamb a soft and meaty texture. It becomes so tender that the meat falls off the bone.
Generally, the shank is tough and needs to be slow-cooked. However, when cooked in the right way, they can become the star dish of a restaurant. Although the characteristics of this particular piece are hard to ignore, if you’re still looking for a lamb shank substitute, carry on reading.
Lamb has a strong gamey flavor that is tamed by equally sturdy ingredients like onions, garlic, ginger, and rosemary. This piece of lamb is great for slow cooking and making stews. Owing to its long cooking time, lamb shank is cheaper than the rest of the cuts.
Braising the shank is the best way to cook it because it prevents the shank from getting dry. The bone marrow melts and becomes part of the braising liquid giving it a rich flavor. You can use it in sandwiches, serve as tacos, or make a stew.
It is a great source of proteins, iron, omega 3 fatty acids, and other minerals.
Lamb Shank Substitutes
1) Shoulder shank
Lamb shank is a cut from the front or hind part of the legs. It is a tough cut and has distinct characteristics. However, a similar cut from lamb is the shoulder shank. It is also tough and needs to be slow-cooked for hours. If you do not want to try any other animal, then you can buy some shoulder shanks. It is even more affordable than the lamb leg shank. It would be ideal if you want to make a lamb stew or soup.
2) Beef short ribs
An all-time favorite and top restaurant dish are the short ribs. In the chuck region of a beef animal, there are five short ribs. These are not good for steaks. However, the meat from these bones is a little tough but flavorful. The taste is a beefy mix of a chuck roast and rib steaks. Just like lamb shanks, beef short ribs are usually braised and slow-cooked. It has a high amount of protein and other minerals. Hence, you can easily replace lamb shanks for short ribs.
3) Veal shanks
Veal is an 18 years old calf whose meat has a gentle texture and pink, pale color. A veal shank comes from the hind shank. It is the leg bone below the shoulder and knee region. Lamb shanks are mostly cut in length, whereas veal shanks are cut in a cross. A famous Italian dish known as osso buco contains veal shank. These are relatively expensive than other shanks.
4) Turkey legs
These delicious legs come from Turkey’s thigh till the meat just below the knee. The legs and thigh part contains more than 50% of Turkey’s meat. It is an inexpensive option for a meal and is famously made in amusement parks. These are roasted, grilled but like the other options in our list, turkey legs can be braised or slow-cooked as well.
What makes them unique is their ham-like taste. The reason is that they are cured in a salty solution.
Are you wondering if someone eats oxtails? Don’t be surprised as many people do. It is slow-cooked or braised like a lamb shank. It is the main ingredient in powdered canned soups used in some European countries. The meat is gelatin and collagen-rich. The flavorful taste of the oxtail is just like beef. It is more commonly used in soups and stews. Need some beef stock for another recipe? Oxtail would make a stock as you have never tasted.
Lamb shank is a favorite in Mediterranean cuisines because of its unique taste profile. It can be used in a wide array of recipes. It is an affordable and tasty cut. However, its unavailability may cause issues. You can try other replacements like shoulder shank and beef short ribs that are tough cuts too. The flavor profile is different for each, so you can choose the ones you and your loved ones like the most. The versatility and uses make these substitutions a great choice.