Braised Lamb Shank Tacos

Braised lamb shank tacos

In the United States, we tend to like chicken as our white meat of choice and beef as our red meat, but 63 percent of the world’s population eats goat. mutton, and lamb.

Lamb and mutton are the primary source of animal protein in regions in North Africa, the Middle East, India, and parts of Europe. There is a growing popularity for lamb in the U.S., especially among people of specific ethnic backgrounds. The USDA defines “lamb” as the meat of sheep less than 12 months old. Most of the American lamb comes from six to eight month old animals. 

Lamb shanks and stews have become particularly popular due to their superior and intriguing taste.

Given my ‘druthers, I would probably choose lamb over beef nine out of ten times!

Braised lamb shank tacos

Braised Lamb Shank Tacos
1 Tbsp. cumin powder
1 cup sherry vinegar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. chile powder
1 16 -ounce can tomato sauce
2 lamb shanks
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
Corn tortillas*, warmed, for serving
Cilantro, chopped
White onions, chopped

*I found a corn/flour mix that I really liked. Corn flavor, with the softer flour tortilla mouth feel.

Combine cumin, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, brown sugar, chile powder and tomatoes; whisk to combine.

Braised lamb shank
Put the lamb in a large bowl and add 2/3 of the marinade; coating on all sides.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Season the lamb with salt and pepper, transfer to the oven and braise until very tender, about 2 hours. (Flip the lamb shanks at 1 hour).

Braised lamb shank tacos

Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Skim off any excess fat and spoon any reduced marinade from the pan into a small mixing bowl and mix with the reserved (uncooked) marinade.  

Remove the lamb and pull the meat off the bone, discarding the bones and fat.

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Braised lamb shank tacos

Shred the meat with your fingers (or forks) and transfer to a bowl. Pour the warmed braising liquid over the meat and toss to coat.

Braised lamb shank tacos

In a dry pan, brown tortillas on both sides.

Braised lamb tacos

Divide lamb among corn tortillas and top with cilantro and onions.

Braised lamb shank tacos