Lamb Shank Stew with Root Vegetables

When the temperature dips, this lamb stew recipe is a slow simmering, warm-you-up meal that’s loaded with flavor. Full of lamb shanks, parsnips, carrots, rutabagas, and turnips.

Bowl of Lamb Shank Stew with Root Vegetables

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

These days when I step outside, I just want to turn around and go back into the house. Sacramento makes up for its blazingly hot summers with foggy, gloomy, dark, dismal, chilly winters, perfect weather, come to think of it, for hearty lamb stews such as this one.

Root vegetables rule the season, sweet carrots and parsnips, turnips, and the happily named rutabaga. (Rutabaga. Rutabaga. Sounds like it could be the name of a Latin dance, doesn't it?) This stew is loaded with flavor.

Don't forget the gremolata (parsley, lemon zest, garlic garnish which I forgot to photograph in the stew); it gives the stew a great zip. For those of you lamb-non-eaters, if you try it with beef (use chuck), let us know how it goes. I imagine it will be just as good.

Bowl of Lamb Shank Stew with Root Vegetables

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

What Is Gremolata?

Gremolata is an Italian dressing or condiment. A mixture of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest, it's versatile and used to punch up the flavor in a variety of vegetable, pasta, fish, and meat dishes.

A Reader’s Variation on This Lamb Stew

Commenter James shared that he follows the recipe to the letter, with one minor exception. At the end of braising the shanks, rather than simply pressing and discarding the vegetable pulp, he adds the pulp back into the sauce. Then he purees it with an immersion blender until it's smooth. This naturally thickens the sauce and intensifies the flavor.

More Lamb Stew Recipes You’ll Love

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Lamb Shank Stew with Root Vegetables

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 50 mins
Servings 4 servings


For the lamb stew

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 pounds lamb shanks, each cut into a couple pieces by a butcher, if possible

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled

  • 2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped

  • 4 carrots (2 coarsely chopped, 2 cut into 2-inch segments and quartered lengthwise)

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup tomato paste

  • 1 cup dry red wine

  • 3 cups chicken stock

  • 2 (1 x 3-inch) strips orange zest

  • 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and roughly chopped into 1 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 medium turnip, peeled and roughly sliced or chopped into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2-inch pieces

For the gremolata

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest


  1. Brown the lamb shanks:

    Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven on medium high heat.

    Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper, add them to the casserole and brown well on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Transfer the shanks to a plate.

  2. Add the garlic, celery, carrots, and onion:

    Add the unpeeled garlic cloves, celery, chopped carrots (half of your carrots, the other half are cut lengthwise to be used later in the recipe) and onion to the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

    Garlic, Celery, Carrots, and Onion in Dutch Oven for Lamb Shank Stew

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  3. Add tomato paste and wine:

    Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the wine; boil over high heat until the liquid is very syrupy, about 5 minutes.

    Red Wine and Tomato Paste for Lamb Shank Stew with Root Vegetables

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  4. Return the shanks to pan and add stock:

    Return the shanks to the pot and add the stock and orange zest. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and braise the shank for 3 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone tender; turn the shanks from time to time as they cook.

    Stock Added to Dutch Oven for Lamb Shank Stew with Root Vegetables

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  5. Preheat the oven and roast root vegetables:

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

    Put the turnips rutabagas, parsnips, and lengthwise-cut carrots in a large baking pan and toss with enough olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven, stirring occasionally, for about an hour, or until tender.

    Roasted Root Vegetables for Lamb Shank Stew

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  6. Make the gremolata:

    In a small bowl, mix the minced garlic with the parsley and lemon zest (the "gremolata"). Set aside.

  7. Strain the sauce:

    Remove the shanks from the pot and transfer to a plate. Pass the sauce through a coarse strainer, pressing hard on the vegetables. Discard the vegetable pulp. Skim the fat from the surface of the sauce.

    Strain Sauce for Lamb Shank Stew with Root Vegetables

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  8. Combine the sauce, lamb meat, and vegetables:

    Return the sauce to the pan, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Separate the lamb meat from the bones. Add the lamb meat and roasted vegetables; simmer just until warmed through.

    Garnish with the gremolata and serve.

    Pot of Lamb Shank Stew with Root Vegetables

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1163 Calories
55g Fat
46g Carbs
106g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1163
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 55g 71%
Saturated Fat 21g 104%
Cholesterol 366mg 122%
Sodium 899mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 10g 35%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 106g
Vitamin C 60mg 298%
Calcium 223mg 17%
Iron 10mg 58%
Potassium 2340mg 50%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.