Braised Lamb Shanks

Dinner1-PotLamb Shank

Perfect for a hearty meal! Lamb shanks braised with onions, garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes, raisins and mint, and seasoned with oregano, thyme, and rosemary.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Do you love lamb? Braised lamb shanks are the perfect hearty meal for cooler days.

What are lamb shanks?

The shank is the the part of the animal between the hoof and the knee, right below the leg of lamb cut. Because they get a lot of exercise (almost all lamb is raised grass fed on the range), the shanks can be rather tough. But because of that exercise, they also have the most wonderful flavor!

Tough cuts like lamb shanks 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.

Braised Lamb Shanks

How to make braised lamb shanks

For this recipe we brown the lamb shanks first. Browning brings out even more of the flavor of the meat!

Next we sauté some onions, carrots, and celery. We add the lamb shanks, garlic, potatoes, herbs, sherry, and raisins. Why raisins? I love the way little sweet notes of the raisins make the overall flavors of the dish pop.

Then we add stock, bring the stew to a simmer, cover it and put it in the oven for the lamb to cook, low and slow for a couple of hours, until the shanks are beautifully tender and falling off the bone.

Braised Lamb Shanks Recipe

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

Ingredients

  • 2 lamb shanks (3 to 3 1/2 pounds total), trimmed of excess fat
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin 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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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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18 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Mary

    Question. How much should the 2 lamb shanks weigh? I have small shanks, two together weigh 1 lb 8 ounces.

    Thanks for anyones help.

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Amanda

    Excellent recipe! So easy and delicious!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Ravenna

    Wow – fantastic lamb recipe. The sherry soaked raisins really make the dish. If your stock isn’t salty, you’ll need to add additional salt to the vegetables. This is now a go to lamb dish for me.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Lori

    Make this often. Amazing flavor!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. 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!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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