Braised Lamb Shanks


Prep School

Published by Agate Surrey

This image courtesy of Bob Fila / Chicago Tribune

Here's a basic but delicious braise. All braises are simply variations on this theme. Serve with mashed potatoes, noodles or couscous.

Preparation Time30 min

Preparation Time - Text30 minutes

Cooking Time2 min

Cooking Time - Text120

Cooking Methodbraising, sauteeing



Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and Texturemeaty, savory


  • 4 small lamb shanks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, cut into medium dice
  • 1/2 carrot, cut into medium dice1/2 celery rib, cut into medium dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces) beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or herbes de Provence
  • 8 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, optional


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper; coat in flour, shaking off the excess. Add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil to the hot pan; add 2 of the lamb shanks. Brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove; set aside. Repeat with remaining 2 shanks.

  2. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pan if needed. Add the onion, carrot and celery; cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic; cook 1 minute.

  3. Add the wine, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Cook until wine almost disappears, about 5 minutes. Return the lamb shanks to the pan; pour in enough of the beef broth to come halfway up the sides of the shanks. Add the bay leaves, thyme and parsley. Heat to a simmer; cover.

  4. Place the pan in the oven. Braise, turning the lamb shanks over in the sauce every 30 minutes, until the shanks are tender and meat can be pulled easily from the bone, about 11/2-2 hours.

  5. Remove shanks to a platter. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve into a clean saucepan; discard the solids. Heat sauce over medium-high heat. To thicken the sauce, if desired, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold liquid: broth, water or wine. Stir half the mixture slowly into the boiling sauce; add remaining mixture if needed. Adjust seasoning. Return the shanks to the sauce to warm the meat, about 3 minutes.


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