The shank is the lower portion of the lamb's leg, virtually always sold bone-in. It's a tough cut, best suited to slow, moist-heat cooking methods like stewing and braising, which melt the ample collagen in the shank to produce a velvety sauce.
Most lamb shanks sold in markets are fore shanks (from the front legs), which are smaller than the meatier hind shanks (from the back legs). But there is nothing dainty about fore shanks; a single shank offers more than enough meat for a hearty serving.
1 shank weighs 1/2 to 1 lb. and serves 1 person generously
Substitute other tough cuts for stewing and braising, such as lamb shoulder.
Lamb shanks from the front legs tend to be smaller and quicker-cooking than shanks from the hind legs. As with other cuts of lamb, American lamb shanks are generally larger than New Zealand or Australian lamb shanks.
Lamb shanks are best cooked slowly and gently with moist heat until falling-off-the-bone tender (braising works well, or cook the shanks in a foil packet with a small amount of liquid).
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.