Delicious braised lamb shanks are a complete takeout fake-out type of meal! Tender braised lamb can be served with couscous, rice or even quinoa.
Today I’m guest posting for my friend Brandy over at Nutmeg Nanny. Brandy has been such a good friend to me. When she asked if I would guest post for her while she was on vacation, I jumped at the opportunity to not only help her out, but also to share this great recipe with her wonderful readers.
You can check out the recipe below or head on over to her site and read the full post about these fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks.
Try braised lamb shanks out, they are delicious and not at all difficult to make! They aren’t an exact flavor twin of the lamb shanks from our favorite restaurant, but they are fall-off-the-bone tender and have really great flavor. My husband said that he might even like them better (!) than the restaurant version.
About braised lamb shanks
The process is pretty simple and most of the cooking time is hands off.
Simply sear the lamb shanks in a Dutch oven or another heavy pan that has a lid. Set them aside after they’ve been browned and sauté the veggies. Add the tomato paste and spices, cooking and stirring them a minute or so. Add the tomatoes, molasses and wine, nestle the shanks back in the pan, adding just enough beef broth to come 3/4 of the way up the sides of the lamb shanks.
Cover and bake in a medium hot oven for an hour. Remove the pan from the oven and check the level of the liquid. If necessary, add more broth, and return to the oven for another hour. That’s it! Pretty easy, right? You’ll love how good your kitchen smells while the lamb slowly braises in the oven.
Don’t worry if you’re not quite ready for dinner when the lamb shanks are ready. They won’t mind a little extra time in the oven, they’re really laid back about that. Just make sure they don’t dry out.
What will I need to make braised lamb shanks?
- 2 lamb shanks (1-1.5 lbs. each), seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, for sautéing
- Carrots, celery, onion
- Red bell pepper
- Herbs and spices (paprika, red pepper flakes, thyme, rosemary)
- Tomato paste
- A can of diced tomatoes
- Dry red wine
- Beef stock
- Parsley, to garnish
Feeding a crowd? Add up to two more lamb shanks if you have a big enough pan. Keep the other ingredients the same, except you will need more beef stock to add to the pan.
Not a fan of lamb? This recipe would also work well with turkey legs.
- 2 lamb shanks (1 to 1½ lbs. each)
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper, more to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1¼ cups finely diced carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
- 1½ cups finely diced celery (about 2 stalks)
- 1 cup finely diced yellow onion (about 1 medium onion)
- 1 cup finely diced red bell pepper (1 red bell pepper)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoons paprika
- 1½ teaspoons fresh thyme
- ¾ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1½ cups reduced-sodium beef stock, more if needed
- Fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Pat lamb shanks dry with paper towel and season shanks on all sides with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven (lamb shanks should be able to fit in one layer). Carefully place the lamb shanks in the oil and sear until brown on all sides, 7-8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
- Add carrots, celery, onion, bell pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt to Dutch oven and cook until onion becomes translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add tomato paste, garlic, and spices (paprika, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes). Continue to cook for one minute, breaking up tomato paste.
- Add diced tomatoes, wine, and molasses. Bring to simmer and return the lamb shanks to the pan. Add beef stock (use more or less as needed to cover the lamb shanks about half to three quarters of the way). Cover pan and move to preheated oven.
- Cook for one hour, remove from oven and check the level of the liquid. If necessary add more beef stock. Flip the lamb shanks over so that the portion that was out of the liquid is now submerged. Return to oven, covered, and continue to cook for another hour.
- If desired, skim off any fat/oil that has come to the surface of the pan. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve lamb shanks with sauce and vegetables with couscous, rice, or quinoa, garnished with fresh parsley.
- Serving size: One lamb shank typically serves one person but it's a pretty generously sized portion. If desired, remove meat from shank before serving and divide into 2 portions for each shank.
- Slow Cooker Method: Brown the shanks and make the sauce on the stovetop, as directed. Once you've completed that, transfer everything to your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. The sauce may be a little juicier.
- Stovetop Method: As long as you have a good heavy pan with a tight fitting lid, you can braise lamb shanks on the stove. Make them as directed but leave them on the burner on low heat for a couple of hours. Check every half hour to turn the shanks over and to make sure there's plenty of liquid.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.