I usually don't do cooking posts during the week, but since we seem to be doing "wall to wall lamb", I thought this would be a bit interesting. I'd grown weary of all the different Lamb Shank preparations, and wanted to try something different. About this time, I'd had some "eh" bowls of Niu Rou Mein. So after preparing some Lamb Shanks with Lemon, Tomatoes, and Olives for the Missus to take to work. I thought I'd try to make some Chinese style noodle soup. But with lamb instead of the classic beef. What the Missus dubbed "Yang Rou Mian". So I searched around, but could not find a recipe. So I simply "winged it". And the result is what you see here:
It's not so much a recipe; I'm only going to list ingredients, and how I prepared the soup. I started trying to measure stuff out, but I had to make adjustments along the way. Overall, I think it was a good test to see if I could actually "cook". So I hope you don't mind this type of post.
I bought 3 good sized lamb shanks from Siesel's. I've found them to be pretty large, and have good gaminess. I also purchased 4 pounds of lamb bones. I decided to make both a stock out of the bones, as well as braise the shanks. I'd strain and mix the liquid from the braise with the lamb stock. Mostly because I needed a good amount of broth...since I knew I'd have a good quantity of meat. I'm sure you can make this in one pot, but I enjoy the texture of slow cooking shanks in the oven. In addition, the bones need to be simmered for a good long time. Because of the amount of fat, I made this a 2 day project. I skimmed off the fat on the second day before reheating. Plus, it always tastes better the next day, doesn't it?
For the broth:
4 lbs Lamb Bones
2 stalks Green Onions, the white parts only, very coarsely chopped
2 1" slices ginger smashed
6 cloves of garlic coarsely chopped
3 Star Anise
2 tsp Five Spice Powder
2 Tb Toasted Whole Sichuan Peppercorns
1 tsp Ground Red Chilies
2 Tb Dark Soy Sauce with Mushroom
2 Tb Light Soy Sauce
Chopped Cilantro stems
Salt and White Pepper to taste.
- Cover lamb bones with cold water and add green onions, ginger, garlic, star anise, five spice, sichuan peppercorns, ground chilies, and cilantro stems.
- Bring mixture to a light simmer(do not bring to a hard boil), reduce heat to keep at a low boil.
- Simmer for 3-4 hours.
- Once the stock is ready, strain the broth.
- Pour back into the pot, add dark and light soy sauce, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
2-3 Large Lamb Shanks, or 5-6 Small
Ground Sichuan Peppercorns
Ground Red Chilies
1-2 Tb Canola Oil
1/2 Cup Shaoxing wine
3 Stalks Green Onions Chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic Chopped
1 Tb Ground Red Chili
3 Star Anise
2 tsp Five Spice Powder
Dark Soy Sauce with Mushroom
Light Soy Sauce
Salt and White Pepper
Heat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
- Season Lamb Shanks with Salt, Pepper, Sichuan Peppercorns, chili, and cumin (my salute to the Uygher)
- Heat a Dutch Oven or similar pan (I used an old wok) over high heat, and sear the lamb shanks.
- Once lamb shanks are nicely browned, remove the shanks a place on a large plate.
Pour off excess oil, leaving just about 1-2Tb of oil in the pan.
- Add Green Onions, Garlic, and Ground Chili. Stir and cook for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add Shaoxing wine and deglaze the pan, making sure to remove all the nice brown bits from the bottom and sides.
- Add water. There should be enough liquid to cover all but about an inch to an inch and a half of the lamb shanks. Bring liquid to a boil, add soy sauces, five spice, and star anise.
- Place lamb shanks back into pot, and cover well. Place in the oven for about 2 hours.
- Once Lamb shanks reach desired tenderness, remove the shanks from the stewing liquid.
- Strain liquid and add to stock. This will be your broth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add in any other flavorings you desire, chili, ground sichuan peppercorn, sugar, more cumin etc....
- Remove meat from bones (this should be really easy if the meat is soft and tender). Place bones back into broth.
Place meat into a container along with 1-2 cups of broth. This will keep meat moist, and prevent drying out. Leaving the meat separate makes it much easier to portion out, and the meat will not break up as much.
- Once the broth is cool, place in the refrigerator overnight.
Before reheating broth for serving, skim off as much fat as desired. I heat the meat in the microwave, but you can do whatever you want. I used some store bought Shanghai style noodles that I think is pretty decent. In the North, where the Missus is from, they like their noodles a bit al dente, with a doughy chew.
Garnish with whatever you wish. I used thinly sliced onion, green onion, cilantro leaves, and because this was for me, baby bok choy(the Missus hates Bok Choy in soup). The soup was rich and hearty, and the Missus ended up taking my bowl away and started eating it all up. You can even make a hot pot with Napa Cabbage, Tofu, and bean thread. This little experiment turned out pretty good. I hope you enjoyed it.