Braised Lamb Shanks

March 30, 2022

Patty James

On a cold, wintry night, a braised dish is the perfect warming meal. Lamb shanks are meaty and braise beautifully. For more delicious recipes, download the Foogal app on Google Play and the App Store.

Mealtime: Dinner
Cuisine type: American
Author: Ed Bauman PhD
Cooking time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Active preparation time: 45 minutes
Number of servings: 4
Dish type: Main
Level: Intermediate



  • 1 cup red wine, such as a pinot noir
  • 6 medium fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 3 shallots, sliced into wedges
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, cut in half length wise and cleaned thoroughly, then cut crosswise into thirds
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped fennel fronds
  • 2 fresh fennel bulbs, trimmed and quartered, fronds still attached
  • 2 tablespoons ghee




Step 1:

Preheat oven to 400° F.


Step 2:

In a roasting pan, toss the fennel and leeks with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon of sea salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon of pepper.


Step 3:

Use paper towels to pat the lamb shanks dry and season them with the remaining salt and pepper. Nestle among the vegetables in the roasting pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, turning shanks to brown evenly halfway through cooking time.


Step 4:

While lamb and vegetables are roasting, heat an enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of ghee. When melted, add onions, shallots, and garlic and cook until they begin to soften. Add a pinch of sea salt, followed by the rosemary and thyme, and continue cooking for another 10 minutes until lightly caramelized.


Step 5:

When the lamb has finished browning, remove the pan from the oven and transfer shanks and vegetables to a plate. Cover and set aside. Pour juices from the roasting pan into a bowl and set aside as well.


Step 6:

Heat the roasting pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop and add 1⁄4 cup of red wine. Wine will bubble and while this is happening, scrape up brown bits (the flavorful fond) from the bottom of the pan and continue cooking wine until reduced by half.


Step 7:

Deglaze pot of onions, shallots, and garlic with remaining red wine, stirring quickly. Then, add chicken stock, reduced wine, and reserved pan juices.


Step 8:

Place the lamb in the center of the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer on the stovetop, then transfer the pan to the oven. Set roasted fennel and leeks aside.


Step 9:

Cook the lamb until it is fork-tender and falls off the bone, about 2 1⁄2 hours. Add fennel and leeks and cook for another 10 minutes.


Step 10:

Remove from the oven and allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes, then ladle portions into large bowls to allow for plenty of braising liquid and vegetables, along with the lamb. Top with chopped fennel fronds.


braised lamb shanks


Discover other delicious lamb recipes by downloading the Foogal app on Google Play and the App Store.

Foogal Meal Planning App

Learn more about how Foogal can help you improve your health and prevent and manage diseases through healthy eating.