Lamb Shanks vs Leg of Lamb – Whats The Difference?

If you’re confused by all the different cuts of lamb out there, you’re not alone. Even a lot of butchers will agree that the different names and labels are confusing. It gets even more confusing when you look at where these cuts come from on the animal. The shank is technically part of the leg, right? But what about the other part of the leg – isn’t that also called a shank? Confused yet?

Well, don’t worry – we’re here to help! Lamb shanks and leg of lamb are both parts of a sheep (or lamb) — they are just different sections. Both have their advantages and disadvantages – and both can be used in great recipes. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

Lamb shanks and leg of lamb are two different cuts of lamb, each with their own unique flavor, texture, and cooking methods. Lamb shanks are known for their rich, meaty flavor and tender texture when cooked low and slow, while the leg of lamb is a larger cut known for its tender meat and rich flavor, often roasted or grilled for special occasions. Both cuts are good sources of protein and iron, but differ slightly in terms of nutritional value. Ultimately, the choice between lamb shanks and leg of lamb comes down to personal preference and cooking method.

What is a Lamb Shank?

A lamb shank is a section of the lower part of the leg of a lamb. It is also sometimes referred to a hind shank or hind leg. The leg of a lamb starts at the hip and goes down to the knee joint. A lamb shank is part of the lower leg of the lamb. A lamb shank is a tough section of meat that really benefits from long, slow cooking. It is a great cut of meat for making stews and curries.

Check out the photo below to be sure

A lamb shank {knee down)
Roast lamb legs

What is Leg of Lamb?

A leg of lamb is one of the two parts of a whole leg of lamb. A whole leg of lamb is the hind leg of a sheep. The whole leg of lamb consists of 2 legs – so one leg of lamb is a part of one leg. The other part of the leg is the shank. A leg of lamb is a boneless cut of meat from the hind leg of a sheep. A boneless leg of lamb is a tender, delicious piece of meat that is a great option for meal prep.

The Difference Between Lamb Shanks and Leg of Lamb

Lamb shanks and leg of lamb are both parts of a sheep (or lamb). A lamb shank is part of the lower leg of a lamb – that is, the lower portion of the leg. A leg of lamb is the whole hind leg of a sheep. That means that one leg of lamb is the part of one leg, and the other leg is the shank. A leg of lamb is a boneless cut of meat. A lamb shank is a tough section of meat.

Here’s a chart comparing the nutritional value of lamb shanks and leg of lamb per 100 grams:

NutrientLamb ShanksLeg of Lamb
Calories234258
Protein19.5 g25.6 g
Fat16.1 g16.9 g
Saturated Fat6.8 g6.7 g
Cholesterol78 mg80 mg
Iron1.7 mg1.5 mg
Sodium60 mg52 mg
Potassium282 mg296 mg
Vitamin B60.2 mg0.2 mg
Vitamin B121.4 mcg1.5 mcg

Note: Nutritional values may vary depending on the source and preparation method. This chart is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional dietary advice.

Why Are Lamb Shanks Called Shanks?

A lamb shank is called a shank because it is part of the lower leg of the lamb. The shank is the part of an animal’s leg that connects to the ankle. The ankle joint is one of the toughest joints in a lamb – and that makes it a really good choice for making stews and curries.

A lamb shank is a tough section of muscle that is highly prized by chefs and home cooks because it is a great vehicle for flavour. It’s full of connective tissues that break down during long, slow cooking to create a rich, gelatinous broth.

Why Is Leg of Lamb Called a Leg?

As mentioned above, a leg of lamb is the whole hind leg of a sheep. The word “leg” in this case is used as adjective to describe the hind leg.

A leg of lamb is a boneless cut of meat from the hind leg of a sheep. Since it is a boneless cut, the hind leg of a sheep is called a leg instead of a shank.

A leg of lamb is often confused with a leg of mutton – which is the whole hind leg of a sheep that is at least one year old. That means that a leg of lamb is the same as a leg of mutton.

Wrapping Up: Which One to Pick?

As you can see, lamb shanks and leg of lamb are both parts of a sheep. A lamb shank is part of the lower leg of a lamb, whereas a leg of lamb is the whole hind leg of a sheep. A lamb shank is a tough section of meat, while a leg of lamb is a boneless cut of meat.

A leg of lamb is a tasty, tender cut of meat that is great for roasting. Lamb shanks are best when cooked in a long, slow braise.

So, when you are at the market and can’t decide which one to pick, just remember that a lamb shank is a tough section of meat that is great for stews and curries. A leg of lamb, on the other hand, is a tasty, tender cut that is great for roasting!

And if it wasn’t already super clear, please check out the video below for an explanation of every part of the lamb!

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