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Meltingly tender braised lamb shanks are perfect for that special occasion dinner.
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5 from 1 vote

braised lamb shanks

Braised lamb shanks with aromatics. Tender lamb and a deeply flavourful sauce. Just the thing for special occasions!
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Total Time42 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: French
Servings: 4


  • 4 lamb shanks - about 1 lb each
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 leek white and light green parts only, diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 3-4 shallots halved
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 5 plum tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups veal stock
  • 3 cups chicken stock enough to cover the lamb
  • salt to season the shanks plus to taste
  • pepper to season the shanks
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter


Brown the lamb shanks

  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot.
  • Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
  • Brown the lamb shanks on all sides. This can take 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove and set aside.

Sweat the aromatics

  • Add more oil if needed.
  • Cook the onion, leek, carrot, shallot, and garlic until onion is translucent.
  • Add tomato, white wine, thyme and about a teaspoon of salt and cook another 3-4 minutes.
  • Return the lamb to the pot, add the veal stock and enough chicken stock to just cover the lamb.
  • Cover and simmer for about 2 hours, until the lamb is tender.
  • Remove lamb from pot and tent with foil.
  • Strain the sauce through a sieve, pressing down on the aromatics to extract as much flavour (and maybe a bit of texture) as possible.
  • Wipe out the pot and return the strained sauce to it. Reduce liquid, over moderately high heat, to about 2 cups. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
  • Off heat, stir in 2 Tbsp butter.
  • Serve lamb over barley risotto, pureed white beans, mashed potatoes or other "starch" and ladle sauce into the dish.