Braised Lamb Shanks

Lamb shanks braised with onions, garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes, raisins and mint, and seasoned with oregano, thyme, and rosemary.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Lamb shanks are wonderfully flavorful, but they can be a bit tough, so they lend themselves well to a low and slow braise. Long cooking at a low temperature is exactly what you need for meat that is falling-off-the-bone tender.

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

Braised Lamb Shanks Recipe

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

Ingredients

  • 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 chicken or beef stock
  • 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

 

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350° F. Season lamb shanks with salt.

2 Brown the lamb shanks: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or an oven-proof, thick-bottomed, pot with a tight fitting cover on medium high heat on the stovetop. Working in batches if necessary, brown the lamb shanks in the pot on all sides. Remove shanks to a dish.

3 Sauté the onion, carrot, celery: Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often.

4 Add potatoes, then garlic, lamb, herbs, sherry, raisins: 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.

5 Add stock, bring to simmer, put in oven: 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.

6 Strip meat from bones: 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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Links:

Braised Lamb Shanks with Grilled Polenta - from Chocolate and Zucchini

Pressure Cooked Lamb Shanks - from We Are Never Full

Braised Venison Shanks Portuguese Style - from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Vietnamese Braised Lamb Shanks - from Viet World Kitchen

Braised Lamb Shanks

Showing 4 of 13 Comments

  • Grace

    I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful recipes. Your recipes are my go-to-first every time and they never fail me! Last night, we had a couple of friends over for dinner both of whom have had extensive travels around the world both for business and pleasure and they love to eat and explore international cuisines. Again, I made braised lamb shanks…and they kept talking about how good it was and that it’s the best they’ve ever had even the day after the dinner. Sadly, I haven’t taken any photos but will do so next time.

    Thank you once again for your never-fail, wonderful and delicious recipes!

  • Grace

    Prepared this dish last Passover. My apologies for the delayed comment…just wanted to share my husband’s reaction: “This is just stupendous”…his words! And I loved it too! Thank you for putting an end to my quest for the best braised lamb shanks recipe.

  • Sherrie Au

    This was amazing! I substituted turkey leg for the lamb shank and fennel for the carrot… NOT! Just joking! ! I made it according to the recipe, except I did use parsnips instead of potatoes and I did include the sherry-soaked raisins and the mint garnish. It was heavenly!

  • CatN

    This turned out wonderful, and I’m hoping to make it again for friends at Thanksgiving with a leg of lamb. Would that work and what if adjustments should I expect to make? Thank you for this keeper!

  • RachH

    I made this yesterday and it turned out so well we practically licked our plates clean! I did not have any sherry to soak the raisins in, so I used some homemade cherry bounce instead (a bit less though since it’s very strong–about 1/3 cup), and we had no fresh mint, but otherwise I was able to follow the recipe. We enjoyed it with Pinot noir and hot potato rolls. Thank you for another winner, Elise!

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