The Long and Short of Balsamic Lamb Shanks Sous Vide

I had a note from a guy recently suggesting that I forego all the “unneeded stories and waffle” and just publish recipes. He was reasonably complementary about my recipes. So, in the interest of brevity, here’s the recipe for these delicious Sous Vide Lamb Shanks.


  • 3 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 twists black pepper

Cooking instructions

  • 62/48
  • Brown in the oven
  • Add cornstarch and water to bag juice and reduce for gravy

But, when I leave out all the waffle, I don’t get the opportunity to tell you about how to use a cheap vacuum sealer to close a bag with liquid in. I also don’t get the opportunity to stress the importance of great ingredients. (I had another chap give out about one of my recipes recently. It was obvious to me that he had used meat that was just shy of festering.) So, here’s the ingredients shot.

Sous vide lamb shanks

Top class ingredients including 12 year aged Balsamic. Worth the writing, I assure you.

The lamb shanks are as good as one can get, from County Wicklow mountain lamb. I cycle through the Wicklow Mountains regularly and probably saw the sheep who donated these on my travels.

To vacuum seal the ingredients, we need to make the balsamic a bit more viscous. I achieved this by putting it in the freezer for a few hours. It didn’t freeze but did get a fair deal more sticky and viscous.

Sous vide lamb shanks (3 of 9)

Many would see no point is showing this shot. That balsamic will thicken nicely in the freezer.

Place the ingredients into the vacuum bag and close the vacuum sealer over the open end. Hang the bag over the side of the work surface. Turn on the vacuum. The bag should seal before the thickened balsamic gets sucked to the sealing element. It’s a good trick and it works.

Sous vide lamb shanks (4 of 9)

It’s hard to be brief about this vacuum method.

Place the bag in the sous vide for 48 hours at 62ºC. Brown them off in a very hot oven for about ten minutes. Save the bag juices. Add them to a saucepan and mix in a slurry of about a teaspoon and a half of cornflour and a tablespoon and a half of water. Keep the garlic in there for more flavour too.

Sous vide lamb shanks (6 of 9)

The gravy really ties the dish together. Take the bit of time to get it right.

Taste and season as you see fit. This will make a delicious gravy. When it is thickened and seasoned, it is ready to serve.

Sous vide lamb shanks

If I were to trim back the posts, there would be no pouring shots. I love a good pouring shot.

Then serve the lovely lamb shanks with some oven roasted thyme and rosemary potatoes. Sprinkle on some parsley for a nice photo. Pour over the gravy in the same way as you have poured over my recipe. Enjoy.

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Latest comments
  • Bah humbug to the negative nellies Conor, there are millions of recipe websites across the internet, we come here for the craic.

  • Hi Conor,
    Don’t you dare leave out your “unneeded stories and waffle”, they always give me a giggle. Especially when you reckon Irish lamb is better than our premium Australian product.

    Best Wishes


  • Very happy you ignored the curmudgeon who doesn’t like your blather!

  • Let me say that I, for one, think you hit that magic perfect mixture of prose and recipe in every post. If I want a recipe without any adornment, introduction, flair, I open a cookbook, and pick one without any pictures, you know just for the full shock of it 😉

    plus, it’s YOUR blog. I mean, seriously? I sometimes get upset with food blogs that have so many ads an pop ups, and might contact the food blogger because maybe they are not aware of it? But even that is a bit dicey – someone might need to make a living out of the site… one never knows. You can always stop visiting a blog if it has “too much waffle” (Sally rolls the eyes to the ceiling)

    back to the point: great recipe!

  • Hello, I just wanted to let you know that I really like your recipes, but I also enjoy your “unneeded stories and waffle” 🙂

  • Keep the waffle! For me, it’s all about the anecdotes, background, and photos (especially the pics). I need to know about the best balsamic vinegar. I yearn for photos of your lovely copper pot. Your blog is a feast for the eyes and the intellect. So there.

  • To hell with that guy! Whose blog is this, anyway?

  • Hang on; what waffle – was there a recipe?
    Seriously, ignore those men who don’t read…BTW do you still cook on the induction top; like it?
    Marian (a he)

  • Mmmm…waffles…hot and crisp with fresh, fluffy butter and real maple syrup…OK, I’m back. *wipes drool from ipad* 😉

    What were we talking about? Oh yes. Conor, you go ahead and waffle all you want! I’ll freely admit that I come here as much for your excellent writing, humor, and “food-porn-worthy” photography as for the recipes.

    Besides, if that critic hasn’t figured out how to scroll directly to the recipe, he probably shouldn’t be allowed near knives or the stove. Sheesh!

  • Huh ? Love your recipes but you make my day with your waffle! Don’t you dare get all cheffy on us: we largely come to talk to you! That said, between Stefan and you, you will get me curious enough about this wretched sous-vide to buy the essentials and try! Well, not quite yet, but . . . 🙂 ! And I hate being a traitor to the cause but your Wicklow lamb seems so much plumper and juicier and . . . compared to anything I can buy here! ‘Lamb-off’ – brilliant! I’ll volunteer Carina in Cochin, Kerala (I’m about to be slaughtered!) – with a large home and a foodie husband, wouldn’t. we have fun learning all about Indian spices . . . ?

  • Hi Conor, the pouring shots have to stay!
    I have done lamb with balsamic before, but not sous vide and not with shank. I think it’s great, because lamb shank can be a bit greasy and the balsamic will cut right through that. You were so much on a roll when abbreviating the recipe, that the lamb itself is not listed as an ingredient. But it’s probably only the moron who doesn’t want to be entertained that would try to make balsamic lamb without lamb.

  • I can think of all sorts of unsavoury ripostes to the anti-waffle moron, some of them distinctly Antipodean in flavour (did you see what I did there with the foodie adjectives?) We may not (and I contest this slightly) have the juiciest lamb but we certainly do the juiciest colloquialisms. Tell him to rack off (oh, we were talking about shanks, not racks, weren’t we?) and find a boring blog to comment on. There are plenty out there, but yours isn’t one. Meanwhile, I leave you with a shot of Australian sheep in, ahem, our ‘desert’ conditions…
    PS: is there a concern that the shank bone might pierce the bag, or are they really tough? The bags, that is….

      • I can always rely on you for exceptional wordplay and even more exceptional flavour!

  • I have an analogy. I can’t understand people who don’t find farts funny. You’ll have much less joy in your life and the exact same number of farts. Sorry for lowering the tone *ahem*, I am Australian.

  • The poor man. It must be hell in his world where it isn’t possible to self-filter what you read. He should stick with sites like All Recipes where you have no idea why (or sometimes even how) a recipe works. Waffle on, please.

  • Yeah, keep the waffle and stories! I mean really, what’s he like? Though this is an excellent recipe so I still enjoyed it. 🙂

      • Thank you, though we are counting the days when we get back across the pond. But blinkers are dangerous things! Unless they are on a horse or should I say ass…..

  • I for one look forward to your waffle and stories. Your recipes are spot on too, but recipes abound on the internet. But, a recipe with waffle and stories is Conor Bofin.

  • I love your recipes but I enjoy your writing your as much. Folks who don’t want to read it can just spool down the page, the misery buckets. I’m with you on ads, I find them really irritating and pay extra to keep them off my blog.

      • Lol, spell corrector? Thanks a million, Conor, we all enjoyed the rack of pork. (Twice, as I wasn’t happy with the oven temp for the crackling the first time. Just hardship.)

  • Your “stories and waffle” may not be necessary, but I find them highly entertaining. Don’t listen to the fool. 😉

  • Conor, why are you listening to people on the internet?? You know we’re all out to get you. Besides, the only way to know you’ve made it these days, is to have someone try to silence you. Fact. Shhhh!

      • That’s what they all say, Conor, before they get imprisoned for undeclared affiliate links. Just sayin’

          • I am in awe of your genius. Look: 🤩. Can I come and work for you and secretly record every conversation with a concealed transmitter in a wooden spoon which doubles as a disciplinary device?

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