OK, well, 2/3 of this experiment was good. I tried the above for the first time yesterday. Never cooked lamb shanks before, never cooked African before.

Well, the Berber marinade was awesome! Very tasty - I can use this on so many things. Recipes for this vary, but mine included cilantro, ground gingerroot, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, oil and assorted spices.

On the other hand, the lamb shanks were terrible. The smell - ugh - very pungent and gamey. I also didn't cook them long enough (my fault) so they were tough and stringy. I will probably not take another shot at these - there are better things to eat, in my opinion.

And to my point. I had a 2001 Simi Cab with the meal, and it was great! This is drinking really well now, and the lush fruit matched perfectly with the spicy-sweet Berber marinade.

If you're going African/Etheopian, go with a cab - it's a good match IMHO.
Original Post
Thanks for the support and other recipe suggestions. I braised for about 1.5 hours - not enough, it seems. I might try this again at some point, but I'll be honest: it was also a little hard to get past the smell of the raw meat. It's like some 15-year-old cheddar I bought one time - smelled like rotten feet and not in a good way. I like strong cheese - but I couldn't push myself to take more than a small nibble (it was terrible BTW).

All-in-all a learning experience - I should have known better than to trust the cooking times in the recipe. Oh well.
Given your description of the smell, maybe the shanks were off? I love lamb shanks, and made them just a week ago. I braised for close to 3 hours and they were great.
A couple other things regarding butchering, I like to have the butcher cut off the end of the bone so that the marrow can melt into the sauce and the meat can contract. You also need to remove the fell (the tough membrane on the outside of the shank) if your butcher did not do this for you, otherwise they will not cook properly.
quote:
Thanks for the support and other recipe suggestions. I braised for about 1.5 hours - not enough, it seems. I might try this again at some point, but I'll be honest: it was also a little hard to get past the smell of the raw meat. It's like some 15-year-old cheddar I bought one time - smelled like rotten feet and not in a good way. I like strong cheese - but I couldn't push myself to take more than a small nibble (it was terrible BTW).


Never had the rotten cheese smell with lamb shanks. I normally cook shanks for 2 or 2 1/2 hours. I also bring the braising liquid to a simmer on the stovetop before putting it in the oven. Some people prefer not to bring the braising liquid to a simmer before putting it in the oven, in which case I'd suggest a cooking time closer to 3 hours.

Lamb shanks is one cut of meat where taking shortcuts in cooking time will lead to disaster (this is coming from someone who normally eats steak "blue").

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