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I'm looking for suggestions about how to plate braised lamb shanks. I used to be able to get small ones that made a nice individual portion. Now they all seem to be 1.5 lbs. which is a bit much. I will serve them with the tomato/mirepoix/fennel sauce on soft polenta and I need an attractive way to divide them up for plating.

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pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 3 years ago

One way would be to "french" the bone. To do this you would use a very sharp knife and cut through the tendons and scrape off everything down the bone from where the big meat is. This way, as you cook them the meat kind of bulbs up and you will have giant lamb lollypops. In theory anyway.

anyone added over 3 years ago

Yes, I agree with my man pierino, but to take it one step further I would serve this in a bowl on top of the polenta w/ sauce over the top with the frenched bone sticking out at an angle.

dymnyno added over 3 years ago

I had braised lamb shanks at Hugh Carpenter's one night. He made a brilliant presentation of the lamb shanks. He had the butcher cut them so they were only 2 inches high. (the rest of the shank can be used for another meal). He julliened carrots and stir fried them and nested the short shank in the middle.

betteirene added over 3 years ago

I think that most restaurants serve shank portions that are in the 1 to 1.5 lb. range.

If you and your dining companions don't eat caveman portions, you can present the shanks like this:


Place the shanks on the table in front of you, have a stack of warmed plates to the left and have the bowl of polenta to the right of the shanks (if you're right-handed). Hold a plate in your left hand, plop some polenta on it with a flourish, use a serving spoon to cut a portion of lamb from the shank, place it atop the polenta, sprinkle with gremolata (optional) or parsley (optional) and pass the plate to the first guest.

Once everyone is served, scoot the platter of shank bones to the middle of the table and encourage your guests to fight for any marrow that they might contain.


pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 3 years ago

On another train of thought I'm suddenly reminded of how I saw veal shank (osso buco) served at Babbo. Instead of serving band sawed sections they braised the whole shank, and the server scooped out the marrow tableside.

marketmaster added over 3 years ago

I appreciate all the suggestions. I think serving at the table with diners being able to have a choice of portion size may work the best. If a diner wants a whole shank, that's fine. If not, that can be accommodated also. Thanks.

If there are other suggestions, I'm open!

No need to email me as additional
answers are added to this question.