We’re heading for the heart of winter, and our cravings for rich, hearty food are growing every day. On the top of that list is a larger than life lamb shank, where the meat has been cooked for hours on end so it slides off the bone with ease. It seems that the humble shank is one of those cuts of meat that Melbourne chefs aren’t afraid to get a little adventurous with, putting their own spin on a classic dish. To help see you through this winter, here is Round 2 of Melbourne’s best lamb shanks.
The Woodlands Hotel
Coburg’s answer to excellent pub fare is full of delightful surprises. From their extensive craft beer list (over 50 brews) to their whimsical décor, The Woodlands Hotel knows how to draw a crowd and keep their regulars happy. The menu here largely focuses on modern Australian cuisine, and their braised lamb shank with honey roasted parsnip mash and gremolata satisfies those looking for a traditional winter warmer dish.
The Village Bistro
The old Belgian Beer Garden has been given quite the overhaul in terms of new chef and menu. The Village Bistro’s braised lamb shanks have a lot of tongues wagging with praise, for their looks as well as their taste. The shank is braised for 12 hours so the meat falls off the bone. It is then reformed back onto the bone, crumbed and roasted so it looks like you’re about to feast on a giant turkey leg. It’s served with roasted garlic polenta, braising juices and crisp rosemary to help remove those winter blues. Deeelish.
South Melbourne’s old school pub is a fantastic cosy corner to while away the hours, which is just as well, because after tucking into some of Melbourne’s best lamb shanks, you won’t be going anywhere fast. Their braised Italian lamb shanks are served in rich tomato gravy on creamy mash. Pair that with a glass of red or a cheeky pint and you have yourself quite a leisurely lunch. As you digest you can cosy up to their fireplace, or smash out a game of pool. Winning.
If you fancy the heartiness of lamb but with some added spice, there are plenty of lamb shank curries going around that could be just what the doctor ordered. Our pick would be the roast lamb shanks in classic massaman at Thai food haven, Lemongrass in Carlton. Enjoy this mild curry infused with aniseed and cinnamon, and shanks that just fall apart. Either eat in or take away, you’re sure to be satisfied.
The Wolf and I
The one thing we love more than a solid lamb shank is a bargain, and on a Tuesday night that’s exactly what you’ll find at Windsor’s answer to Scandinavian fare, The Wolf and I. For $20, you receive shanks and shiraz, more specifically lamb shanks with potato puree, baby spinach, roasted shallots and red wine sauce with glass of Austins shiraz to sip on as you go. The deal starts from 6pm onwards, but there’s no reason you can’t arrive early, wriggle into one of their comfy couches and enjoy a pint before dinner.
Want more? Check out our first round of Melbourne's best lamb shanks!
Image credit: The Bicycle Thief