Braised Lamb Shanks

Braised Lamb Shanks

Braised lamb shanks are perfect for a hearty meal. A combination of herbs and spices, carrots, celery, potatoes, and raisins create a complex, mouthwatering dish.

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

What Are Lamb Shanks?

The shank is 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.

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 the 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

PREP TIME20 mins
COOK TIME2 hrs
TOTAL TIME2 hrs 20 mins
SERVINGS4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2¬†lamb¬†shanks¬†(3 to 3 1/2 pounds total), excess fat trimmed

  • Kosher salt

  • 2¬†tablespoons¬†extra virgin olive oil

  • 1¬†medium¬†yellow onion, chopped

  • 2¬†large¬†carrots, chopped

  • 2¬†celery¬†ribs, chopped

  • 3 to 4¬†medium¬†potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks

  • 1¬†clove¬†garlic, minced

  • 1 1/4¬†cups¬†chicken¬†or beef¬†stock

  • 2¬†teaspoons¬†fresh thyme,¬†or 1 teaspoon dried

  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†fresh rosemary, 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¬†fresh mint leaves

  • Mint leaves, for¬†garnish

Method

  1. Preheat the oven:

    Preheat the oven to 350¬į F.

  2. Season the lamb:

    Season the lamb with salt.

  3. 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.

    Browning lamb shank in dutch oven pot
  4. Sauté the onion, carrot, and celery:

    Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often.

    Sautéed onions, carrots, and celery for braised lamb shanks recipe
  5. Add the potatoes, then the garlic, lamb, herbs, sherry, and 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.

    Lamb shank cooking with potatoes, carrots onion and celery in oven proof pan
  6. Add the stock and bring to simmer and 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.

    Lamb shank with potatoes baked in oven
    Braised lamb shanks in oven safe pot
  7. Discard the bay leaf and strip the meat from bones:

    Remove the bay leaf and discard. 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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