These Easy Braised Lamb Shanks are some serious comfort food! Made with grass-fed local farm lamb and slow cooked in a red wine sauce flavored with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and fresh rosemary. Cook them up for a perfect weekend or holiday dinner.
Every year we buy an organic, grass-fed lamb from our favorite local farm and every year I make this same classic dish with the shanks. Easy braised lamb shanks are my favorite comfort food go-to dish, especially when the weather calls for a hearty dish.
Many people might think that buying grass-fed meats from local farms is too expensive. The truth is that it can be quite affordable. One way to save money while supporting your local farmer is to become part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. Think of it as a subscription service for awesome food, like veggies, meat, fish, bread, dairy, etc. I like to search for farms on EatWild.
Another way to make eating organic, grass-fed meats more affordable is to buy less expensive cuts. This recipe utilizes lamb shanks, which are a super flavorful yet inexpensive cut of meat. It’s a super tough piece of meat, so it does take some time slow cooking/braising for the shanks to really shine, but in about 2-3 hours, you’ll have some of the most tender and flavorful lamb ever. Plus, the sauce is amazing and you’ll want to pour it all over everything!
The base of this recipe is the same one I use for my Braised Beef Short Ribs with a few changes and additions. I’m a firm believer in the “if it ain’t broke” theory. Also, if you’re not a lamb lover, then the beef short ribs might be for you!
Since the weather here is still crappy and I’m all about comfort food right now, I’ve been oven roasting, braising, Instant Potting, and Crockpotting everything…but no grilling. I cried the other night because it was -1F degrees outside, with snow all over the ground, and I couldn’t grill the chicken and pork I had marinating in homemade jerk paste for 2 days.
All out cried. Like a baby. For like 5 minutes. Because I couldn’t grill. Then I had the bright idea to grill inside, on the stove top, and later thought I was going to die from the spicy ass jerk flumes burning off the chicken and pork and searing my eyes, nose, and skin. I cried again. Yeah, it’s been that kind of winter for me.
So the next time it was cold and windy, I made these shanks and served them with creamy polenta (that had a ton of grass-fed butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese mixed in) and oven roasted kale. Added a glass of red wine and it was perfection on that chilly
winter spring night.
Easy Braised Lamb Shanks would make a perfect Easter dinner and are sure to become a family favorite…holiday or not!
- 4 small lamb shanks (about ¾-1 pound each; preferably local farm raised & grass-fed), at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion, about 1 medium
- 1 cup diced carrot, about 1 large
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup good quality red wine
- 2 cups good quality beef stock, homemade or store bought
- 1 cups good quality chicken stock, homemade or store bought
- 3 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped (can substitute 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
- fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped (optional)
- Take the lamb shanks out of refrigerator and let come to room temperature before cooking (about ½-1 hour).
- Preheat oven to 325F degrees.
- Heat a large dutch oven over high heat. Add tablespoon of olive oil and sear the shanks on all sides until brown, adding additional olive oil as needed. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add onion, carrot, and garlic to the pan and sauté until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Add wine and cook until reduced by half. Add beef and chicken stocks, tomato paste, and rosemary. Stir well and bring to a boil. Return lamb shanks to the pan, cover, and place in the preheated oven.
- Braise the shanks for 2-2½ hours, or until lamb is fork tender.
- Place the cooked shanks on a serving dish. Skim excess fat off top of cooking liquid and reduce over high heat to thicken into a sauce, if necessary. Place one lamb shank on a plate, spoon sauce over it, and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
- Leftovers are even better the next day so make a double batch!