Because lamb is technically a "red" meat, along with beef, pork and game, you need to cook it to a minimum temperature to make sure the meat is safe to eat. Kids may like lamb, especially when you cook it low and slow, because the meat becomes tender and flavorful. Lamb shanks come from the shoulder section of a lamb. Look for an easy way to cook lamb shank for a fast meal the kids will enjoy.
Choose kid-friendly herbs that will complement the taste of the meat without turning your kids off. Rosemary goes hand-in-hand with lamb, as does marjoram and paprika. Use fresh herbs, if possible, to increase the taste and nutritional benefits of the herbs. If your kids like a little less zest, opt for simple parsley to season the lamb shanks before cooking them. If your family tolerates garlic, don't forget to tuck a few cloves into the raw meat before cooking it.
Taking the time to brown the lamb shanks before braising them locks in flavor and tenderness. Season the lamb shanks first and then use whatever oil you like to cook with to brown the shanks on every side in hot oil. While this takes a few extra minutes, the effort will be worth it when you see your kids loving the lamb.
Choose flavorful liquids for the braising process. Beef or chicken broth, fruit juice, ketchup, and even fruit jellies can add the necessary liquids while infusing tasty flavors your kids will enjoy. Because you simmer the meat in the liquid, the end result is big flavor.
Low and slow is the name of the game. Seal the cooking container -- in the oven, on the stove top, or in the crock pot -- to make the meat super tender for little diners. Set the temperature to a low temperature -- no more than 325 F. Cook the lamb shanks until the temperature reaches 145 F to avoid illness -- about 40 to 45 minutes per lb. Kids can be especially susceptible to serious food borne illness, including E. coli, so don't risk illness by undercooking the lamb shanks.
Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.