March 29, 2023

Braised Lamb Shanks


Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

2 Hrs, 25 min

Total Time

2 HRS, 45 MIN



Braised lamb shanks



10 pieces of American Lamb shanks, bones trimmed to fit the pan


Spice Blend:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder



  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, (divided)
  • 2 onions, (grated and water removed)
  • 6 garlic cloves, (minced)
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds (optional)
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 6 -8 cups stock (wine is added as part of the total liquid)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (or balsamic reduction)
  • Dry red wine (optional)


To Serve:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Orange zest
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Chili flakes


Season the lamb with the spice blend on all sides.

Preheat a heavy duct oven pan—at least 7 quarts on medium high heat and add in 2 tablespoons of butter.

Start by adding the seasoned lamb shanks in two batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.  Get a nice golden sear on each lamb shank.  You will need about 3 minutes per side for each lamb shank to be golden.  Continue adding more shanks to the pan as long as they are in a single layer.

Once all shanks are done and seared, use the same pan to proceed with braising.  Add in the remaining amount of butter to the pan and add in the grated onion.  Cook the onion for 3 minutes before adding in the garlic, cooking it for a minute.

Add the remaining sauce ingredients and turn the heat up to bring it to a boil.  At this point add the lab shanks back to the pan and cover the pan.  Drop the heat to medium low and cook the lamb shanks on a gently simmer for about 2 hours, making sure to flip the shanks half way to distribute the heat. The shanks should be tender when pierced with a fork,  at that point the shanks are ready.

Remove the shanks along with other tough pieces of whole spice and herb stalks and the bay leaves. Allow the sauce to boil for 3-4 minutes to thicken slightly.

You can add dry red wine and stock to make a robust sauce with amplified flavors. (Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Malbec will work best).

Use an immersion blender for easy clean up, or a blender if you do not have access to an immersion blender.  Blend the sauce into a smooth and luscious gravy.

Serve the lamb shanks over mashed potatoes, drizzled generously with the gravy,

Finish off with fresh rosemary an orange zest, some freshly cracked pepper and chili flakes if you prefer.

Note: The USDA recommends that lamb reach an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees F with a 3-minute rest.


raw lamb shanks
lamb shanks with sauce
thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.


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