Braised Lamb Shanks are slow cooked until tender in a red wine sauce flavored with tomato, onions, garlic, and fresh rosemary. Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta for the ultimate comfort food dish.
Braised Lamb Shanks = Major Comfort Food Recipe
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.
Braised lamb shanks have become my favorite comfort food go-to dish, especially when the cold weather calls for a hearty dish.
What are lamb shanks
Many people might think that buying grass fed meats from local farms is too expensive, but 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 the freshest, in-season food for vegetables, meat, fish, bread, dairy, etc. I search for local farms near me on EatWild.
Another way to make this way of eating more affordable is to buy less expensive cuts. This recipe utilizes lamb shanks, which are a super flavorful, yet inexpensive cut of meat.
Since it's a super tough piece of meat, it does take some time slow cooking and oven braising for the shanks to really shine. 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 recipe might be just for you.
How to cook lamb shanks
Since the weather here is still crappy (aka winter) and I'm all about comfort food right now. I've been oven roasting, braising, Instant Potting, and Crock-potting everything...but no grilling.
Honestly, I cried the other night because it was -1F degrees outside and there was snow all over the ground.
I couldn't grill the chicken and pork I had marinating in homemade jerk paste for the past 2 days without literally freezing to death. (P.S. that might be a slight exaggeration)
The next time it was cold and windy, I didn't even mess around with the grill. Instead, I made these shanks and served them with creamy polenta.
The polenta was made with a ton of grass-fed butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese mixed in, so I counterbalanced it with healthy oven roasted kale.
Then, I added a glass of red wine and it was perfection on that chilly
winter spring night.
Serve the lamb shanks with these sides:
- Slow Cooker Colcannon
- Fresh Ginger & Shallot Green Beans
- Easy 7 Layer Salad
- Sweet Potato Rolls
- Garlic Cheddar Cheese Angel Biscuits
Think of these braised lamb shanks next time you need to make a comfort food recipe on a chilly day. They also make a perfect Easter dinner!
Braised Lamb Shanks
- 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)
optional: fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley , chopped
- Take the lamb shanks out of refrigerator and let come to room temperature before cooking (about ½-1 hour).
- Preheat oven to 325F/163C degrees.
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium-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.
- Reduce heat to medium and add onion, carrot, and garlic to the pan. Sauté until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook until reduced by half. Add beef and chicken stocks, tomato paste, and rosemary and stir well. Increase heat again to medium-high and bring sauce to a boil. Return lamb shanks to the pan, cover, and place in the preheated oven.
- Braise the shanks for 2-2 ½ 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.