Braised lamb shanks

Braised lamb shanks

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(48 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins Make up to 2 days ahead

More effort

Serves 8
Lamb shanks are good value, and as each one is a portion, serving is a cinch. You can braise the shanks up to two days ahead

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze for up to one month

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal295
  • fat18g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs5g
  • sugars2g
  • fibre0g
  • protein25g
  • salt0.41g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 8 lamb shanks



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 carrot, roughly chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • few sprigs fresh rosemary



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 3 fresh bay leaf
  • 4 garlic cloves, left whole



    Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…

  • 2 tbsp plain flour



    Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…

  • 1 tbsp tomato purée



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 350ml white wine
  • 500ml lamb or chicken stock


  1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Pour the oil in a casserole dish or roasting tray large enough to fit all the shanks. Spend a good 10 mins browning the lamb all over. Remove the lamb, add the onion and carrot and cook for 10 mins until starting to brown. Stir in the herbs and garlic and cook for a few mins more. Stir in the flour and tomato purée, season well then pour over the wine and stock. Return the lamb shanks to the pan. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid or tightly with foil and cook, undisturbed, for 1½-2 hrs until lamb is tender.

  2. Remove the lamb from the sauce and set aside. Put pan back on the heat and bubble it down for about 15 mins until rich and glossy. Pass through a sieve into a jug. The lamb and sauce can be stored in the fridge for two days or frozen for one month. To serve, reheat the lamb in the sauce, adding a splash of water if the sauce is too thick.

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments (79)

Josh75sullivan's picture

This was an excellent template. I did not have some of the ingredients and others I switched out. I am not used to some of the methods used for cooking this dish, so I made slight deviations to the cooking process; no browning in the casserole dish or sautéing vegetables.

First, I had two lamb shanks (from a local Safeway 50% off) and I used a propane torch and seared the outside of the shanks. The fat shriveled and crackled and spat as I crispified each shank in it's entirety. I had already set the oven to 425F (220C) and placed the shanks in the greased casserole dish then I sprinkled clove and sage powder and some bay leaves on them then put fresh cut up onion, bell pepper, pickled carrots, cilantro, and minced garlic on top. Then finally some Rosé of Pinot Noir (Oregon) from King Estate Vineyard's own Acrobat line. Instead of some EVOO I used bacon grease and drizzled across the entire dish and sprinkled fresh cracked Mediterranean salt and peppercorns. Covered the top with tin foil and placed in the oven. Set timer for 2 hours.

This prep time took longer than the recipe's b/c my ingredient deviations and searing, though in all prep took ~35 min., cook time 2 hours, then a short cool off period before eating. Such a long process to only devour the product in minutes but it was worth it. The vegetables served as the side to the shanks and the bone was able to be pulled out of meat with minimal adherence to the knuckle. In my opinion this was a delicious dish and have saved it to my list.
No leftovers!

frannylou's picture

Stunning! I used 2 onions, 3 carrots, 2 sticks of celery, 2 leeks, red wine, home made chicken stock and a bunch of thyme. Didn't need oil or flour. Removed the bay leaves, cooled and wizzed up the veg and stock to a delicious gravy. Reheated the next day for Sunday lunch and served with buttery mash (used my ricer), whole roast carrots and steamed broccoli. An absolute winner with the whole family...and they had no idea how much veg (or garlic) was hidden in the sauce!! A great way to get veg into the kids.

OggMiester's picture

First the negative: Trying to follow this recipe was slightly confusing. You are first talking about roasting in the oven and, suddenly a pan appears from no-where. However, now the Positive: I roasted the lamb shanks to brown - about twenty minutes (ish). Hindsight, should have put the carrots and onions in at the same time. I then added the stock, wine, puree, flour, garlic, rosemary, salt & pepper (couldn't get any Bay Leaves!) to a large pan and brought to a simmer. Added the carrots, onions & two lamb shanks and left it to simmer for about an hour & half. Absolute delight - my wife was extremely pleased with my efforts. I'm now going for Kleftico for Sunday Lunch.

rhombus96's picture

I'm with you. Donno what the recipe is talking about. Very confusing.

Sophie3243's picture

This is a firm favourite dinner party dish in our house. It's minimum effort as I use the slow cooker rather than a pan. I generally cook it the day before, remove the shanks and refrigerate everything overnight. The flavours really develop and you can then skim the fat off the gravy & strain out the veg. Then the whole lot goes in a large casserole dish in a low oven when our guests arrive. Always served with a huge dollop of buttery mash, green beans and roasted baby carrots and a jug of the delicious gravy (sometimes needs reducing depending on how thick you like your gravy). It's so quick to prepare, cooks away all by itself & then reheats when your guests arrive! Absolutely delicious, fool proof and never fails to impress. Cooking it again this Saturday!

magicmushroom's picture

Made this on Saturday night for 4 people.
I used 6 lamb shanks and it was a huge success, after a couple of little tweaks.

I braised the shanks for about 3.5 hours in total at 160 in a fan assisted oven.
When it was time to take the shanks out and make the sauce, they didn't look very appetising at all - still quite fatty looking - I put them in a roasting tray and put them back in the oven. This was a great idea as it melted away the last of the outside fat and gave them a lovely roasted look. They were very tender and full of flavour.

For the sauce, I gave it a good mashing first to get as much flavour out of the veggies & herbs as I could; it was quite watery so to thicken it up I put a chicken Oxo cube into a saucepan, drained the juice in on top and also added a large tablespoon of mint jelly then let it simmer away for a good 15 minutes. It was to die for, everyone commented that they could have quite happily drank the gravy out of a mug! I do feel that without the mint jelly addition it would have been quite bland so I'm very glad I put it in.
A really delicious meal that. Clean plates all around. I served with creamy mash, carrots and peas - simple, but you don't want anything complicated on the side as the lamb and gravy really are the stars of the show.

Will most definitely be making this again :-)

fatsiatbbc's picture

Superb dish. Like many others I adapted it for two, though I would imagine the above recipe might be lacking in sauce if you prefer more than a glaze on the lamb. Did it in a pressure cooker and it took 40 minutes.

damenga's picture

Made for the first time tonight for two and it was very good. Adjusted the ingredients to suit and sauce was lovely. Did not put through a sieve. I blitzed it instead. Cooked for about 3 hours at 150 degrees and meat fell off the bone. This one will be on the menu in the future.

emsie_jp's picture

I have made this recipe for numerous dinner parties and always have happy and satisfied diners! The lamb is Devine and just falls off the bone. I have made the recipe using red and white wine and thoroughly enjoy both. I tend to remove the bay leaves then use a hand blender to blitz the sauce rather than sieve it and it always gets the thumbs up!

ade_in_the_kitchen's picture

Cooked this today, it was sublime. I cooked the shanks at a lower temperature for 2 hours 45 minutes and the result was beautiful. The meat was tender and the sauce was flavoursome. A real winner.

chefbf's picture

Made this two of us, used two shanks and halved the ingredients for the sauce. After reading some of the reviews I cooked the lamb for three hours at 150 and it did fall off the bone however there wasn't enough sauce. Next time I will cook 2- 2.5 as I checked it after 2 hours and the consistency of the sauce was perfect.

bandcamper's picture

Really nice. I used 3 large shanks to feed 2 adults and 3 kids (6, 5 and 2). Meat was very tender and fell off the bone, and sauce tasty. I used a hand blender to blitz it, rather than pushing it through a sieve, much easier. Served with mash, baby carrots and broccoli. An easy family meal.

fruitcake44's picture

Delicious recipe! Made this for just the two of us with two lamb shanks but as we like plenty of sauce I only halved the amount of liquid and so glad I didn't cut it down anymore as it had reduced to almost nothing when I removed the lid so didn't need to reduce on the hob! I passed what was left through a sieve pushing through the carrots and garlic which left a rich thick delicious sauce which I thinned with a little boiling water to serve.

jillybonbon's picture

Delicious! I added a sliced leek to the onion and carrots and cooked in the oven at 150 degrees for about four hours. So easy and minimum effort but a great result. I will definitely cook this again.

ruthy10's picture

Really tasty dish, the lamb was very tender and flavoursome. I did half the ingredients but still cooked for the same amount of time.

jenny101uk's picture

Lovely recipe very tasty, added a bag of whole baby carrots instead of chopped carrots and served with mashed potato and long stem Broccolli. Plates were cleared!

blossomcrown's picture

Lovely! We used four small shanks but the same quantities of everything else, and the same timings, and it turned out perfect, falling off the bone. Didn't need to reduce the sauce at the end as it was already very thick and sticky. We also didn't have any lamb stock, so I used vegetable stock - just as nice I reckon. Served with mash and broccoli.

looney's picture

Forgot to rate.

looney's picture

I was disappointed when my OH said, "will you do the lamb plain". I thought this recipe was pretty plain so gave it a try and my goodness I'm so glad I did. I prepared it this morning and left it to slow cook in the oven whilst we were out all day. It fell off the bone and was delicious. I'm planning on using this recipe for a family 'Come Dine With Me' competition were having in the autumn.

andycrofts's picture

I made this exactly to the recipe (I added a couple of sticks of chopped celery that were going to waste). Made with the potato and mushroom cake, and served with green beans.
To die for! I notice the recommendation is 'moderately easy', but I thought it was a doddle! Completely foolproof (Although as Douglas Adams once said, "Never underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools")


Questions (7)

susannab23's picture

If making 2 days in advance, as recipe states can be done, are there any instructions for reheating - method/temperature/time etc? Thanks

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi Susanna, thanks for your question. The best way is to reheat the lamb in the sauce, adding a splash of water if the sauce is too thick. You can do this on the hob in a pan, bring gently to a simmer and continue for a few mins to ensure the lamb and sauce are fully heated through. Hope that helps.

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi susannab23 the lamb shanks can be reheated in the sauce. Just place the sauce in the pan or casserole dish, add the lamb shanks and bring the sauce to the simmer on the hob, add a little water if you need to. Check that the lamb is piping hot all the way through before serving - if you're worried use a digital probe thermometer, you're looking for it to be 75C inside the meat. Hope this helps. 

Jennyallison's picture

As a novice cook, I am confused by the method for cooking this dish in step one. Should the browning of the meat be done on the hob and only once passed the simmer stage transfer to the oven? Sorry to all experienced cooks if this is a silly question. Thanks

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for your question, the shanks are browned on the hob in the casserole dish and then simmered on the hob in the same dish, thanks.

Suzieollier's picture

so why does the very first line say "Heat oven to 200 C " and there is no mention of using a hob ?

beatriceng8's picture

I am confused by that too. Why turn the oven on, if all the cooking is done on the hob?

Tips (2)

tammy65's picture

Followed the recipe to the letter, but swapped white wine for Beaujolais with excellent results!!!

magicmushroom's picture

Add a tablespoon of Mint Jelly to the sauce before serving - really gives it a lovely flavour that complements the lamb perfectly.