Braised Lamb Shanks
Braised Lamb Shanks

Braised lamb shanks are perfect for a hearty meal. A combination of herbs and spices, carrots, celery, potatoes and raisins results in a complex, delicious dish.

Do you love lamb? Braised lamb shanks are the perfect hearty meal for cooler days.

What are lamb shanks?

The shank is the part of the animal between the hoof and the knee, just below the cut leg of lamb. Because they get a lot of exercise (almost all lambs are pasture-fed grass), the thighs can be quite tough. But because of this practice, they also have the most wonderful taste!

Tough cuts like lamb shanks work well for a low and slow stew. Long cooking at a low temperature is just what you need for meat that falls tenderly off the bone.

How to Make Braised Lamb Shanks

For this recipe, we first brown the lamb shanks. Browning brings out the flavor of the meat even more!

Next we sauté some onions, carrots and celery. We add the lamb shanks, garlic, potatoes, herbs, sherry and raisins. Why raisins? I love the way the little sweet notes from the raisins bring out the overall flavor of the dish.

Then we add broth, bring the stew to a simmer, cover and place in the oven to let the lamb cook slowly and gently for a couple of hours, until the thighs are nice and tender and fall off the bone.

Tips for cooking lamb shanks

  • Fry the knuckles well. If you skip this part you will lose a lot of flavor.
  • Don’t rush it. Raising the temperature can cook the thighs faster, but it’s the low and slow temperatures that make them so tender. Don’t go over 350°F and be patient. You can even cook them at 300°F, but your cooking time will be longer.
  • Cook to at least an internal temperature of 165°F, but it’s okay to leave them in longer until the meat practically falls off the bone.
  • Make sure you have a suitable pot. An ovenproof, enamelled, cast-iron Dutch oven with a lid is ideal for this recipe.
  • Shafts only. Do not substitute lamb shanks or other tender cuts of meat.

Prepare the lamb shanks in advance

This is a great recipe to make ahead as the flavors meld together like a good stew (which this essentially is). To prepare braised lamb shanks ahead of time, follow recipe as directed, including stripping the meat from the bones.

Allow the dish to cool and place in a tightly closed container. Place in the fridge for up to 2 days. If desired, remove and discard any solidified fat from the stew. Heat it on the stovetop in the same pot you cooked it in by bringing it to a simmer and then cooking until nice and hot.

Freeze braised lamb shanks

This recipe freezes well, although the potatoes may have a slightly different texture when thawed. Freeze in a freezer safe ziplock bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge.

Sides to serve with stewed lamb

  • Kale Caesar Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing
  • French green beans with butter and herbs
  • Spring vegetable salad with mint pesto
  • Bread without kneading
  • potato bread

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Braised lamb shank

preparation time
20 minutes

cooking time
2 hours

total time
2 hrs 20 mins

4 servings


  • 2 lamb leg (3 to 3 1/2 pounds total), excess fat trimmed

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 Middle yellow onionchopped

  • 2 big carrotschopped

  • 2 celery ribschopped

  • 3 to 4 Middle potatoescut into 2 inch pieces

  • 1 clove garlicchopped

  • 1 1/4 cups chicken or beef share

  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried

  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemaryor 1/2 teaspoon dried

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 bay Sheet

Optional and highly recommended:

  • 3/4 Cup raisinssoaked in 1/2 cup sherry for a few hours

  • 1/2 Cup fresh mint leaves

  • mint leavesPer garnish


  1. Preheat the oven:

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Season lamb:

    Season the lamb with salt.

  3. Roast the lamb shank:

    Heat the oil in a Dutch Oven or heavy-bottomed ovenproof saucepan with a tight-fitting lid on the stovetop over medium-high heat. If necessary, fry the lamb knuckles in batches on all sides in the pot. Place thighs in a bowl.

  4. Sweat the onion, carrot and celery:

    Add the onion, carrot, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

  5. Add the potatoes, then the garlic, lamb, herbs, sherry and raisins:

    Add potatoes and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the garlic, lamb shanks, and herbs (except for the mint). If using, add the sherry and raisins; Bring the sherry to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.

  6. Add the broth and bring to a boil and put in the oven:

    Add broth and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and bake in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until thighs are tender.

  7. Discard the bay leaf and separate the meat from the bones:

    Remove and discard the bay leaf. Remove the thighs, loosen the meat from the bones and return the meat to the pan.

    Serve with fresh mint leaves as a garnish.

nutritional information (per serving)
567 calories
27g Fat
46g carbohydrates
35g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!