Braised Lamb Shanks are some serious comfort food! Made with grass-fed local farm lamb and slow cooked until tender in a red wine sauce flavored with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and fresh rosemary. Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta for the ultimate tasty food recipe.
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.
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 search for local farms near me on EatWild.
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, 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 recipe might be for you!
Honestly, 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 that had been 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, didn’t even mess around with the grill. Instead, I made these shanks and served them with creamy polenta (made with 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.
- 4 small lamb shanks , about 3/4-1 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 1/2-1 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 2-2 1/2 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!