Home > Categories > Food > Heat and Eat > Beak & Sons Garlic and Herb Lamb Shanks review
There is something reassuringly generous about serving up whole lamb shanks, and in terms of taste they are hard to beat. Beak & Sons' succulent lamb shanks have been coated in a garlicky sauce laced with zingy rosemary, and slow cooked until the meat is sweet, aromatic, and ready to fall off the bone. Just heat them and cover them in the luscious glaze before serving. Perfect paired with creamy mash. This is the ultimate comfort food!
This product is fully cooked and just needs reheating in a conventional oven or microwave. It should be kept chilled until needed.
Many years ago, I had the chance to dine at a very "fancy" restaurant in Palmerston North. Their signature dish was Lamb Shank with a Herb Jus... which is a fancy way of saying "overcooked leg of lamb in a watery vegetable stock soup" as it turned out. Since then, I have always found myself ordering anything BUT 'lamb shank' when I dine out. When this arrived for review, I figured I needed to address that aversion and clear my mind of the lasting stigma.
So very, very glad I did.
While still not my preferred cut of lamb, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying this immensely. Especially when I ate it accompanied by my veges of choice - mashed kumara, steamed cauliflower and broccoli with a herbed cheese sauce. (I tossed in some 'frozen vege' to build up the vege:meat ratio a bit more.)
Even after the meat was cooked in the microwave, it was still tender, full of layers of flavour, and so easy to remove from the bone. Though I was ordered, by my cat, to leave some meat on the bone for him to gnaw off at his leisure. He gave it the paws-up too, in his own uniquely cat-like way.
To be honest, I'm struggling to say much more than "this was a revelation for me" because that is what it amounts to. The ability to reheat this in the microwave and have it come out tender, moist, flavourful and EASY was nothing short of remarkable.
However, I did find it quite frustrating to get out of its little plastic sack, as the plastic adhered to itself everywhere the meat wasn't, so simply cutting the end off wasn't enough - that gave me a small hole out of which the sauce gushed gleefully. I tried hacking the other end off, to the same result except now air could enter at one end allowing the sauce to goosh vigorously out the other. Which of course was NOT the end I was holding over the bowl. So I lost about half the sauce down the front of my jeans. (Which gave my inner 10yo a lot of mirth, I must say.) In the end, it was simpler to cut around the meat, over a larger bowl, and then pick out the plastic after the food had finally come free. Still, it could have been worse.
Overall, based solely on the food-components, this is an incredible way to get "Lamb Shank" on your personal menu, and there is no limit to how you can dress it up with veges, you could also serve it on rice (if you manage to retain enough sauce) or even break it all down, give it a good mix, and use it as an excellent pie/buritto/enchilada/cannelloni/etc. filling as well. However, I do think the packaging may need a bit of a rethink - perhaps make the bag out of a suitable material that it could be cooked sous vide style - aka 'boil in the bag' to us non-posh cooks.
Since there were two shanks in the packet, we decided it was best to test them out on an evening when we were not going to have to share - part of the fun of eating a shank is ripping the meat off the bone and savouring every mouthful. So I organised wipes and tissues (just in case!), and placed each shank carefully on a plate of vegetables (silver beet, mashed potato, and beetroot - a hearty winter combination because, despite the fact that it was early summer, the weather was actually quite cold!)
According to the packaging, the meat was lamb, but we found the flavour quite strong, more like an aged mutton. If anything, that was a plus; we had chosen the vegetables so they would not overwhelm the meat, so the full flavour came through. We could taste the rosemary, but the garlic was more subtle; had we not known it was one of the ingredients, we might not have realised it was there. Useful for when you are feeding someone who insists they don't eat garlic! The meat and gravy were a rich, dark colour, attractive especially in contrast to the white potato.
The portion sizes were generous; we could have stretched it to feed another adult, although I admit to being pleased that I had mine all to myself. The meat was tender and almost devoid of fat, a nice surprise as this cut does tend to be rich; when cooking shanks myself, I always skim the fat off. However, we felt that there could have been a little more gravy as the meat was on the dry side. I had followed the preparation instructions to the letter, using a covered casserole dish and reheating in the oven as microwaving, although quicker, might have made the shanks tough. So there was no evaporation of the liquid. Next time I will add a little water before putting the dish in the oven; because the flavour is strong, it will not affect it too much.
Our plans are to have these shanks again during the holiday period. Friends have offered to buy a couple of packets if I do the cooking - we often do it this way as I like to cook and they don't but are quite happy to provide the ingredients! This will be an easy dinner for the four of us; all you need for a satisfying meal is a seasonable vegetable or two. I am thinking of using swedes and sauerkraut next time; the swedes are not too strong and the sauerkraut will counteract the richness. Looking forward to it.
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