Braised Lamb Shanks

Braised Lamb Shanks

Braised Lamb Shanks 2215 2560 Daryl Duarte

I serve lamb shanks with Creamed Potatoes (or Fluffy Polenta) and Wilted Spinach

Braised Lamb Shanks

This is a luxurious, savory treat and sure to please the carnivores in your tribe. If only this recipe had smell-o-vision!  Your house will fill with the most extraordinary aroma when these are braising. I strongly recommend making the lamb shanks several days prior to the dinner for several reasons.  1. You can decant the braising liquid, discard the excess fat, and prepare a nice sauce without being under pressure to do complicated last-minute detail.  2. Doing recipes that have long cooking times the day before removes the anxiety of trying to time the finish point precisely. 3. You can clean up the “heavy” pots and pans used to make this, and the day of the party you have the confidence knowing your main course is 30 minutes away from the table – which gives you – as a host – a lot of dexterity and agility which adds to your confidence.  Your guests will arrive to find you fresh as a daisy, and ready to entertain with style and ease.  Your company will leave full, happy, and eager to regale their friends and relatives with their recollections of a spectacular dinner enjoyed at your table.    


  • 1 lamb shank / guest
  • Braising components enough for 6-8 lamb shanks
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 ribs of celery
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • Water to cover
  • Bouquet garni consisting of parsley thyme, and rosemary and bay leaves


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Turn the exhaust fan over the stove top on high.
  • Bring a large, heavy bottom sauté pan to a smoking hot temperature. (You can use the same baking pot or Dutch Oven you will use for the oven braise for this step as well.)
  • Put the vegetable oil in the hot pan – and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the shanks – as many as will fit without overcrowding. You may have to do this in batches. Allow the shanks to cook for 2 minutes without moving, and then using tongs, lift one shank and check for browning. If browned sufficiently, rotate to another side and repeat until the shanks are all well browned. Move the browned shanks to a large mixing bowl to hold while finishing all the shanks.
  • If the residue in the pan looks too burned – I suggest you reduce the heat and deglaze the pan with about 2 cups of water – be careful – it will bubble violently – and you don’t want to get burned by steam or splashing. Stir this around to loosen up any burned bits. Discard the water. (Burned bits are not desirable – browned bits are!)
  • Chop the onion, celery, and carrots into a medium dice.
  • Add the vegetables to the pan, add the olive oil, and salt and sauté over medium heat until they are beginning to brown a bit.
  • Add the tomato paste and continue to cook for about 3 minutes – stirring frequently.
  • Add the wine, stock, pepper and stir until everything is nicely blended.
  • Submerge the shanks in the braising liquid, add enough water to cover them completely, toss in the bouquet garni and submerge
  • Place in the oven for 3 ½ hours.
  • Cool completely.
  • Gently remove the shanks from the braising liquid and lay into a roasting pan. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Using a ladle, spoon the braising liquid through a strainer and discard the solids to the compost pile.
  • If you have a gravy separator to remove the fat layer, use that and store the remaining liquid in quart containers and refrigerate.
  • Remove the shanks from the refrigerator 2 hours prior to serving to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees to reheat for about ½ hour.
  • Put the sauce in a saucepan and heat.
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