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Best Lamb Shank Recipes

Best Lamb Shank Recipes

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Lamb Shank Shopping Tips

Look for meat that is bright red. Red meat turns paler as the hemoglobin within releases oxygen – a sign that the meat has been sitting too long at the butcher's counter.

Lamb Shank Cooking Tips

When browning meat, resist the urge to move the meat – you must allow a flavorful crust to form over high heat. Once it has formed, the meat should slide freely with the shake of a pan.

Wine Pairing

Most red wines, especially cabernet sauvignon, but also including cabernet franc, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nebbiolo, nero d'avola, primitivo, barbera, and sangiovese.

Fall Off The Bone Lamb Shank Recipe

Tender Lamb Shank, smothered in a luxurious silky smooth gravy, simple to prepare and is full of flavor coming from the spices and vegetables. This dish is an elegant and family favorite dinner that won’t take much time to prepare. However, the only waiting time is the cooking time, and even in that long time, all you have to do is let the lamb shank cook in the oven while you do other chores or even relax. Watch the video in this post to see how super simple it is to make this fall off the bone lamb shank recipe!

My Best Ever Lamb Shank Recipe

There are eleven other lamb shank recipes here on the blog. Some are better than others. Some would qualify as really excellent in any cook book. However, this one is the best. It excels in flavour, texture, simplicity and most importantly, the Wife says it’s the best I have ever cooked. And we all know, what she says goes. With not a little pride, I present Soy Braised Lamb Shanks with Creamed Parsnip and Garlic Purée.

Looking back over my Indian Spiced Lamb Shanks and my Lamb Shanks Marrakesh gave me pause for thought as they are two top dishes. But, in truth, they don’t even come close to the eventual balance and punch of flavour that is delivered here. It’s about this point of the writing that I usually get into the ingredients. So, I won’t disappoint on that score.

Ingredients (for two)

  • 2 top quality lamb shanks
  • 2 onions
  • 12 slices of ginger root
  • 1 bulb of garlic or 3 heads of single clove garlic
  • 250ml (half a pint) of top quality chicken or lamb stock
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 4 tablespoons of top quality light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper
  • 4 or 5 parsnips

Your own choice of butter, cream, milk or whatever to add to the parsnips for creaming.

The preparation required for this dish is minimal. Quarter the onions, leaving the skins on. Peel the garlic and if using single bulbs like I did, cut them up into eights if using multi clove bulbs, peel and bash with the side of a knife. Slice the ginger. Place these all in a roasting tray.

Don’t underestimate the flavour in this roasting tray.

Make a bed of the garlic and ginger, on which the lamb shanks can sit. Add the shanks and then season with the pepper, pour on the honey, pour over the soy and pour in the stock.

It’s really easy to shoot honey on the pour. That’s why I do it.

A good splash of soy brings saltiness and umami to the proceedings.

Cover the tray with a generous cover of aluminium foil, sealing the edges of the tray. Pop this into a 160ºC 320ºF fan oven and forget about it for four and a half hours. When the time is up, take it out of the oven. Remove the foil. Leave it beside the dish. Lift the shanks and the onions into the foil.

Out of the oven and everything looks lovely.

Pick out the garlic pieces and reserve. These will go into the parsnip purée.

Yes, all the garlic goes into the purée. IT is sweet and delicious after the long cook.

Pour the liquid from the tray into a separator. Pour the fat free sauce into a small saucepan and reduce by half over a medium low heat. While this is doing, place the onions back into the roasting pan and sit the shanks on top.

That sauce is packed with flavour. Don’t waste any of it.

Add a cup of water to the tray and return the dish uncovered to the oven for about 20 minutes.

Peel the parsnips and cut them up pretty small so they will steam quickly. Steam them until they are cooked. Using a stick blender, purée the parsnips, garlic and butter with milk or cream (I used all three).

Finish the shanks over the cooking time of the parsnips.

Put a generous portion of parsnips into a bowl, place a shank in the middle, pour over an even more generous amount of that sauce. Sprinkle on a few parsley leaves and serve.

Don’t skimp on the sauce. You won’t regret the generosity.

I can not express in words how balanced, flavoursome, punchy and delicious this dish manages to be. I implore you to try it. If you do, you will love it and I guarantee it will become a firm favourite. For me, I can say with confidence, it is my best ever lamb shank recipe. Do it!

You can find the rest of the lamb shank recipes along with many other lovely Irish lamb delights here.

Slow-Roasted Rosemary Garlic Lamb Shanks

Although not the most popular of meats in American cuisine, lamb has long been a favorite in dishes around the world, especially in Mediterranean cuisine. Easy to prepare and flavorful, lamb gives a sweeter, earthier taste to recipes that call for beef. Lamb shanks are cut from the leg of the animal, containing a central bone surrounded by hearty meat. They are more inexpensive than other cuts of lamb.

While some cuts of lamb are delicious cooked briefly at high heat (like grilling), lamb shanks are a different matter. Braising is a better option since the meat tends to be a little tougher, and low and slow cooking renders it fork-tender. This slow-roasted lamb shank recipe is such a great and easy way to enjoy lamb. It only requires a few ingredients, and even though it takes some time, it's almost all hands-off.

You'll need to plan a few hours to prepare ahead for this recipe to allow the lamb to slow-roast, but it will be time well-spent. Serve with mashed potatoes or grain to soak up the juices.

The shank is the cut of lamb taken from the lower part of its legs. As you can imagine, that part gets quite a bit of exercise, making it tough - unless it's slowly braised in a small amount of liquid.

Not necessarily. I've experimented with browning the shanks before putting them in the crockpot, but I have found that the extra step is not worth the trouble. The dish is excellent with or without browning.

Lamb shanks should be cooked low and slow, and the ideal method for them is braising, not roasting. That's why the slow cooker is ideal. When cooked this way, their tough meat becomes wonderfully tender.

This is a truly easy recipe. I would say that the only challenging part is making the gravy. It's important to skim the fat off the cooking liquids before attempting to reduce them. Otherwise, the oil can separate.
Cook the liquids patiently over medium heat just until thickened, then immediately turn the heat off. This can take as long as 15 minutes.
You can speed up the process by mixing a teaspoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water and stirring that into the cooking liquids.

Caribbean Lamb Shanks

This is one of my favourite dishes in the book – a real winter-warmer for cold weather, and fabulous in the summer too. Sweet potatoes are a Caribbean staple and the orange ones are a great colour in this dish, but you could use parsnips instead. Serve with fluffy Pumpkin Rice. Fantastic!

Recipe author: Levi Roots
Caribbean Food Made Easy
Photography by Chris Terry
Reproduced courtesy of Mitchell Beazley



  • 2 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
  • 3 banana shallots or 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots cut into long, thin slices about 1/2 cm thick
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 tsp crushed allspice
  • salt and pepper
  • and pepper
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 300 ml beef stock
  • 500 g (1lb oz) sweet potato, peeled and cut into 5cm chunks
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 hot chillies (ideally Scotch bonnet or red Tai bird's eye), 1 cut in half
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, to garnish (optional)

Caribbean Lamb Shanks Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/gas mark 3. Wash the meat and pat it dry with kitchen paper.

2. In a large, lidded casserole dish, heat half the oil. Add the shallots, onions, garlic and carrots and cook gently to soften for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, season the shanks by rubbing with the allspice, salt and pepper. Heat the rest of the oil in a large frying pan. Thoroughly brown the shanks on all sides. Add the browned shanks to the softened vegetables.

4. Deglaze the frying pan with the red wine and stock by adding the liquid and stirring until any brown residue from the shanks dissolves. Add this liquid to the casserole dish.

5. Add the rest of the ingredients (apart from the coriander) to the casserole dish and stir it all around. Put a lid on the casserole and put it in the preheated oven. Cook for 2½ hours, or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Serve sprinkled with fresh coriander, if you like. Fantastic!

Slow the way to go for best flavor from lamb shanks

Spring is the best time to make lamb dishes. Lamb shanks, cut from the lower leg, is a great cut of meat for braising or slow cooking they tend to have little fat and lots of connective tissue. Braising allows that tissue to break down and produce rich, succulent tasting and very tender meat that is falling off the bone so you really cannot overcook them.

The most important step is to really brown the shanks well. Don’t rush this step because this is the key to locking in flavor and making them finger licking good. Make sure you have plenty of napkins ready.

This type of slow cooking is a great way to think ahead for any type of gathering because the dish can be cooked two days in advance and just reheated slowly. Double the recipe to serve more.


6 c. tomato sauce

1/2 c. olive oil

4 meaty lamb shanks (about 3 1/2 to 4 lbs.)

4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

Dried red pepper flakes to taste

3/4 c. dry red wine

3/4 c. tomato paste

Salt to taste

5 large fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a stovetop-to-oven casserole dish or baking pan large enough to hold the lamb shanks. When the oil is hot, add the shanks and brown them evenly on all sides a few at a time. Transfer them to a dish. Discard all but 1/3 cup of the oil remaining in the pan. Add the garlic to the pan and cook over medium-low heat until golden brown. With a slotted spoon, remove the garlic and discard it. Add the onion to the pan and cook over medium-low heat until soft, about 15 minutes. Add the hot pepper flakes. Increase the heat to medium-high pour in the wine and allow most of it to evaporate, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste with a wooden spoon and scrape up any bits of meat that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Return the lamb shanks to the pan and cover them with the tomato sauce. Add basil leaves. Cover the dish and bake for 2 1/2 hours or until the meat is fork-tender. Serves 4.

What Is Lamb Shank?

Lamb shank is a tough cut from the lamb leg that becomes tender and juicy with slow and low cooking. The foreshank comes from the front legs and is smaller than the hind shank, which comes from the back legs and is much meatier. As with all hard-working muscles, lamb shank is full of connective tissue and collagen that requires stewing or braising. The lamb shank is typically sold cut, with the center bone intact, and is cooked on the bone with little prep required.

Because lamb shank requires long cooking times and a lot of patience, it is an inexpensive cut of lamb that is often overlooked compared to more easily grilled neighboring cuts. This makes lamb shank an affordable option for cooks who enjoy lamb, but avoid it due to the high price compared to other red meat such as beef and pork.

Oven Baked Lamb Shanks Rosemary Recipe


  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 6 juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1²⁄³ cups (400 ml) dry white wine


Step 1

Roll lamb shanks in flour and place in a casserole with remaining ingredients. Cover with a lid.

Step 2

Preheat your oven to 300 F (150 C). Bake lamb shanks in preheated oven for 2 hours. Add a little water during the cooking if necessary.

Step 3

Turn off the oven. Transfer baked lamb shanks with any accumulated juices to the servibg plate. Serve hot with boiled rice if desired.

Delicious, simple lamb potjie recipe

/>by James Olivier

Cooking with fire is really rewarding. It’s not just all throwing things over lumps of hot wood, you know. Mastering the art of cooking with coals – whether that’s braaing or slow cooking – is a great way to up your repertoire and a lamb potjie is one of the finest things you can cook.

South Africans don’t need invitations or excuses to huddle around the fire and knock up some great food.

Potjiekos literally translates into “small pot food” and we all have a favourite way of making this dish. This recipe uses lamb, you can use a cheap cut – in fact, cheap cuts are ideal for this sort of thing! Bone in is preferred, as there is lots of flavour in there.


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