Braised Lamb Shanks

The trick to delicious lamb shanks is to brown the shanks first.

Braised Lamb Shanks Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Serves 4.


  • 2 Lamb shanks
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3-4 medium potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/4 cup stock or boiling water with a bullion cube
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf

Optional, and highly recommended:

  • 3/4 cup raisins, soaked in 1/2 cup sherry for a couple hours
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves



1 Preheat oven to 350° F. Season lamb shanks with salt. Heat a Dutch oven or an oven-proof, thick-bottomed, pot with a tight fitting cover on medium high heat on the stovetop. Add the olive oil and brown the lamb shanks in the casserole pan on all sides. Remove shanks to a dish.


2 Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add potatoes and cook another 2 minutes. Add the garlic, lamb shanks, and herbs (except for the mint). If using, add the sherry and raisins; bring the sherry to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.

3 Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover the pot and bake in the oven for 1 1/2 or 2 hours or until shanks are tender.


4 Remove the shanks, strip the meat from the bones and return the meat to the pan.

Serve with fresh mint leaves as garnish.

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Braised Lamb Shanks with Grilled Polenta - from Chocolate and Zucchini
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Vietnamese Braised Lamb Shanks - from Viet World Kitchen


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Showing 4 of 10 Comments

  • John M.

    One thing to keep in mind with something like lamb shanks: If you are impatient, they come out wonderfully from a pressure cooker in, like, 20 minutes instead of 90. Brown them first of course.

  • ash

    I subscribed to your feed a few months back; my boyfriend and I are obsessed with anything food, food network, food books, etc. He is a wonderful cook, grown up on Georgian comfort food, and I grew up in Maryland with a much more new-england style of cooking. The only problem is I’m a horrible cook. It takes a while for me to get something right, so when I decided to impress him with a great dinner one night, he was apprehesive. He’s never had lamb (country boys don’t have the opportunity too often for lamb) so I decided on this recipe because it was a nice combination of what he’s used to back home, and a couple twists….the raisins and the lamb. I substituted ribs for shanks, because the store I went to didn’t have shanks. I did all the same things except lowered the oven time–I only left them in there for about thirty minutes. But can I just say that it was SO GOOD. My boyfriend raved on my cooking skills! And the sherry soaked raisins were definitly the best additive!! We actually took pictures of our plates because it was so pretty. The flavors were fabulous and we put it in our scrapbook of things to cook again, and I also made that Eggnog pound cake, which was just the perfect end to the night. Thanks for making my date night so great! Now I just have to live up to it on our next date!

  • Lew

    I tried these a few weeks ago and it turned out fantastic! I’m pretty new to cooking (at least, beyond pasta and steaks ;) and was very happy with how it turned out.

    One thing I did do differently was to cook the shanks longer at a lower temperature with hopes that they would have a better chance of staying tender. The results were great. I left them at 300 for about 4 hours, and didn’t need to use a knife during dinner. Anybody else have recommendations for the ideal cook time (if you have the time to spare?)

  • James

    I’ve slow cooked lamb a few times, trying different recipes each time. This one is by far my favorite. The sherry soaked raisins are a brilliant idea. I served mine with a dipping sauce that was a blend of rasberry jam and chili sauce. Its a great looking dish as well.

    I’ve used many recipes from this site and each one has been excellent.

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