These are great in a Chinese steamboat. Start with a chicken or lamb stock base mixed with soy, ginger and garlic, then add lamb ribs, silken tofu and julienned Asian vegetables. Or you can marinate your ribs in soy, hoi sin, honey, agrodolce red wine vinegar, garlic and ginger - marinate for four hours or overnight and then bake them in the oven at 170C for around an hour, turning once until the meat is well-done.
The new shanks? Try substituting them in any recipe calling for beef cheeks. Make sure you cook them long enough that you can fork all the meat off the bone before serving. If you've bought lamb neck chops, trim them of excess fat and use them in a classic Lancashire hotpot with plenty of root vegetables and a sprig or two of thyme.
These are best cooked past medium. They're great with gentle marinades (think olive oil, garlic and lemon zest) on a slow South American-style char-grill.
It's a good idea not to cook the loin meat part of the chop past medium; once this is done, lay it on the grill tail-down to take this bit of the chop to well done. You end up with the best of both worlds: crisp, unctuous tail with delicate juicy loin. An alternate to this is to cook the chop with the tail sitting on the hot-spot of your grill and the loin on a cooler section.
You have your own favourite recipes for shanks, I'm sure. I can tell you, though, that roasting a pan full of browned and seasoned hindquarter shanks is one way to stop family arguments over who gets the shank end from a roasted leg of lamb.
My first preference for leg is to butterfly it and marinate it in olive oil with a mix of some of the other flavours that suit lamb (a quality plain yoghurt with mint, lemon and garlic or sherry, honey, mild mustard, lemon and garlic). Butterflying the leg slashes through the four or five muscle groups there and means the muscle bundles can't tighten in the cooking process. Strip the meat after cooking and serve atop seasoned couscous or cracked wheat. Leg of lamb can be tricky to roast perfectly because there can be up to five different muscle groups in the one cut of leg. I find the best way around this is to cook the leg as slow and low as possible, stopping when the inside of the thickest part of the leg reads 60C on a meat thermometer.
A very popular cut in the restaurant trade and with good reason - of all the muscles in the leg this is the most suited to being roasted to medium or medium-rare. All the classic lamb seasonings go well with rump but southern French flavours like olive oil, bay, thyme, tarragon, fennel, marjoram, red wine and shallots come up particularly nicely, as does a Greek version with olive oil, garlic, oregano, thyme and lemon juice. Brown first, then place in a medium oven for 15 to 20 minutes
A number of Australian chefs use lamb stock in many of their dishes to deliver a flavour strength midway between chicken and beef stocks. It's important to roast the bones when you're making a lamb stock, but the really critical thing is to continuously skim the fat off the top as you go.
This is a real delicacy and we're fortunate to have an abundant supply of this fantastic product. Lamb's fry from a milk-fed lamb is a wondrous thing and needs nothing more than simple grilling then dipping into something like a Madeira sauce.