how to cook frozen lamb shanks

The Ultimate Guide on How to Cook Frozen Lamb Shanks


Lamb shanks are a classic dish that’s loved by many. They’re full of flavor and can be cooked in several ways. However, cooking frozen lamb shanks is slightly trickier than cooking fresh lamb shanks. In this ultimate guide, we’ll show you how to cook frozen lamb shanks and provide you with tips and tricks to make the process easier.

Explanation of What Frozen Lamb Shanks are

Frozen lamb shanks are pieces of lamb meat that have been cut from the lower leg of the animal, typically from the shinbone area. They’re packaged and sold in grocery stores or butcher shops while still frozen. A single packaging may contain one or multiple pieces depending on the size and weight of each piece.

Why Buy Frozen Lamb Shanks?

While fresh lamb shanks may be preferred over frozen ones, frozen options offer convenience in terms of storage. Freezing saves time, prevents waste, and allows us to prepare meals ahead of time for future occasions. This means you can cook a big batch of frozen lamb shanks and store them in your freezer for later use.

Overview of the Cooking Proce

The cooking process for frozen lamb shanks is done differently compared to fresh ones due to their icy state. However, it’s not impossible to achieve the same delectable taste with the appropriate steps.

Selecting and Preparing Ingredients

Before diving into cooking methods, it’s essential to prepare your ingredients correctly. Here are some steps to follow when selecting and preparing ingredients for your frozen lamb shank recipe:

Selecting Frozen Lamb Shanks

When purchasing frozen lamb shanks, check for a few critical things like its color, texture, and packaging information. Here are tips for choosing the best ones:

  • Look for shanks that have been vacuum-sealed or packaged with minimal air as it helps retain their flavor and moistness.
  • The lamb shanks’ color should be pink or red, which means they’re fresh and of good quality. If the shanks are discolored or lack color, avoid buying them.
  • The texture of the shank should be firm to the touch; avoid buying those that feel mushy.
  • Choose shanks that are uniform in size for even cooking.


It’s essential to defrost frozen lamb shanks properly because it can affect their taste and texture during cooking, dried out meat is usually an indication that meat has been thawed incorrectly or not completely thawed when beginning to cook. Here are a few safe defrosting techniques:

  • The best way to defrost frozen lamb shanks is by transferring them from the freezer to your fridge’s bottom shelf and leaving them overnight (a typical time of about 24 hours) until they have considerably thawed before you begin with any cooking process.
  • In case you’re in a hurry, place your frozen lamb shanks sealed in a plastic bag submerged in cold water. Change the water every thirty minutes until they defrost entirely.
  • You can also use your microwave defrost setting to speed up the process. However, this technique requires extra care as microwaves may start cooking some parts while others remain frozen.


Seasoning is vital when it comes to enhancing the flavor of your lamb shank dish, especially when you’re cooking with frozen lamb shanks. Since they’ve been stored for a while, seasoning can help bring out their taste. Here are some tips for selecting seasoning options:

  • When adding seasoning to your lamb shanks, start with simple spices like salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Other suggested seasonings that complement lamb’s natural flavors include thyme, rosemary, oregano, paprika, and cumin.
  • You can also add red wine or beef broth to give the lamb shank a rich flavor.

How to Cook Frozen Lamb Shanks

Once you’ve selected and prepared your ingredients accordingly, it’s time to start cooking your frozen lamb shanks.

Slow Cooking Frozen Lamb Shanks

Slow-cooking frozen lamb shanks is an excellent way to ensure tough cuts of meat become tender while retaining their flavors. By allowing them to cook over an extended period on low heat, the connective tissues have time to break down and make the meat fall-off-the-bone tender. Here are some steps on slow-cooking your frozen lamb shanks:

  1. Begin by searing the lamb shanks for about 3-5 minutes in a frying pan until they’re golden brown on all sides.
  2. Place the seared lamb shanks comfortably in a slow cooker or crockpot before adding any liquid.
  3. #Ingredients
    1.Frozen Lamb shank (2-4) depending on the size
    2.Beef broth or red wine
    3.Chopped onion
    4.Minced garlic
    5.Salt, pepper, and other desired seasonings

  4. Once you’ve added in the beef broth or red wine, onions, garlic and salt, and your preferred seasoning, cover the slow cooker with its lid before setting it to low heat and letting it cook for 7-8 hours.
  5. After they’ve finished cooking, use a tong or fork to remove any visible meat from the bone and serve hot.

Oven Method

The oven method is another popular technique for cooking frozen lamb shanks. Here’s a simple guide on how to use your oven to cook them.

  1. Preheat your oven to about 350°F before placing your seasoned lamb shanks in an ovenproof dish.
  2. Add your preferred seasoned liquids like beef broth or wine before using foil paper to cover the dish tightly.
  3. #Ingredients
    1.Frozen Lamb shank (2 -4) depending on size
    2.Mixed vegetables (including onion) for flavoring.
    3.Salt and pepper
    4.Olive oil
    5.Beef broth or red wine

  4. Place the covered dish into your preheated oven and let it cook for around 2-3 hours until the meat is fully cooked and tender
  5. Remove from the oven once done and serve while hot.

Pressure Cooker Method

The pressure cooker method is one more technique to consider when cooking frozen lamb shanks. The high-pressure steam environment can cook food faster than traditional methods. Here’s how to use a pressure cooker:

  1. Begin by searing each lamb shank in a frying pan over low-heat before placing them aside.
  2. Add chopped onions, garlic, beef broth, or wine, salt, and pepper as per preference into your pressure cooker
  3. #Ingredients
    1.Frozen Lamb shank (2-4) depending on size
    2.Mixed vegetables (including onion) for flavoring.
    3.Salt and pepper
    4.Olive oil
    5.Beef broth or red wine

  4. Cover your pressure cooker tightly with its lid before cooking on high heat for about an hour to an hour and a half depending on the size of the lamb shanks.
  5. Once done, carefully release the pressure before extracting the lamb shanks with tongs and serving hot.

Serving Your Delicious Meal

The side dishes and visual presentation can enhance your meal overall and be quite enjoyable, here are a few suggestions to try:


Pairing frozen lamb shanks with the appropriate side dishes enhances its flavor and provides an overall delicious experience. Some great serving options include:

  • Roasted vegetables like carrots, turnips, or potatoes.
  • Mashed potatoes or healthy mixed grains such as rice or quinoa.
  • Sautéed leafy greens like spinach, kale, or zucchini.

Proper Presentation

If you’re preparing frozen lamb shanks for more formal occasions like a dinner party, it’s essential to present them in an appealing way. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use thinly sliced lemon wedges or fresh herbs to garnish your lamb shanks upon plating.
  • Plate the side dish separately to create attractive visual boundaries between your entree and side dishes.
  • Mix and match your plates with various shapes or solid colors that complement each other.


Frozen lamb shanks have all sorts of benefits from easy prep time, meals made ahead of time for when you’re ready to cook, and simple flavors that bring impressive taste. This guide shared how to choose, defrost and season frozen lamb shanks while also providing several cooking techniques. We hope that with this ultimate guide you can cook flavorful, juicy frozen lamb shank meals each time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Cooking Frozen Lamb Shanks

What is the best way to defrost frozen lamb shanks?

Defrosting frozen lamb shanks might take several hours, even up to 24 hours depending on the size. The easiest way to defrost them is by placing them in a bowl of cold water in the sink for a few hours until they are completely thawed.

What temperature should I roast my frozen lamb shanks at?

Roasting frozen lamb shanks requires a temperature range of 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit for 1-2 hours. However, it’s always advisable to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches between 145-160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Should I season my frozen lamb shanks before cooking?

Seasoning before cooking is one of the essential steps for great taste. You can season your frozen lamb shanks with rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper to enhance flavor, aroma, and tenderness.

How do I tell if my frozen lamb shanks are ready?

When your lamb shanks are ready, the meat should be tender and fall apart easily when cut or pierced with a fork. Also, the internal temperature should register between 145-160 degrees Fahrenheit when checked with a meat thermometer.

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