Braised Lamb Shanks

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

  • 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 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



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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Braised Lamb Shanks

Showing 4 of 11 Comments

  • 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!

  • Sandra

    On a stormy day recently, I was looking for a recipe to cook a lamb shank I bought and found this one. It was so easy and tasted as if I was a gourmet cook – absolutely delicious and a big hit with my husband who loves lamb. I’m not a big fan of lamb, but this was very tasty. Just a few modifications: I used a spice bag for the herbs and garlic which made it easy to remove after cooking. I also used the sherry alone without the raisins, used homemade beef broth and cooked it for 2 hours at 350 in a Le Creuset pot. This has a very rich taste that pairs well with a dry red wine and French bread.

  • Sandra

    I made this dish but didn’t include the raisins and sherry as I didn’t have any sherry and I couldn’t think of a suitable substitute in my pantry. I was looking for a straightforward lamb shank recipe, one which used what I on hand and didn’t require a trip to the store, when I came across this one. It turned out perfectly! Next time, I’ll try it with the raisins and sherry, especially after reading the positive comments about including them.

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