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Braised Lamb Shanks

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These delicious braised lamb shanks are a complete takeout fake-out type of meal! Delicious braised lamb can be served with couscous, rice or even quinoa. Plus, it’s so much cheaper to make lamb at home!

Today my lovely friend Rachel from the blog Rachel Cooks is guest posting. Thanks, Rachel!

I was so excited when Brandy asked me to guest post for her. Jealous that she is enjoying what is hopefully a wonderful and relaxing vacation, but happy to fill in for her while she is gone!

My husband and I try to cook and eat at home most nights, but we still go out or get carry out one or two nights a week. I’m by no means a supermom and enjoy a break from cooking! We have a new(ish) little one, so carry-out tends to be the easiest thing. Our standby choice is a Lebanese restaurant not far from our house. We love the healthy, unique choices they offer (as well as the occasional baklava). If you’re not familiar with Lebanese food, it is very similar to other types of Middle Eastern cuisine. One of my favorite things to get is fattoush (a salad with pieces of fried pita bread, radishes, cucumbers, and a dressing containing sumac) topped with chicken shawarma (shaved meat). They also serve one of the best lentil soups I have ever had, something I am still trying to replicate. About twice a week, they offer a lamb shank special.

The lamb shank dinner is only offered on these days and is not a regular menu item. Ever since we tried this meal, we have been hooked! It is the most delicious, fall off the bone lamb you can imagine. The sauce it is served with has just the faintest spicy heat and perfect flavor combinations.

I decided to try my hand at braised lamb shanks. They did not turn out identical to the lamb shanks we order at the restaurant, but they were a good at-home alternative.

I served mine with whole wheat couscous. Would also be good with rice or quinoa. You could probably get away with adding up to two more lamb shanks and keeping other ingredients the same, except maybe adding more beef stock).

Braised Lamb Shanks

These delicious braised lamb shanks are a complete takeout fake-out type of meal! Delicious braised lamb can be served with couscous, rice or even quinoa. Plus, it's so much cheaper to make lamb at home!

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours


  • 2 Lamb Shanks (1-1.5lbs each)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1-2 cups reduced-sodium beef stock
  • Fresh parsley to garnish

Source Rachel Cooks


Preheat oven to 350*F.

Season lamb shanks generously on all sides with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven (you want your shanks to be able to fit in one layer). Carefully place the lamb shanks in the oil and sear until brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onions, carrots, celery, and bell peppers to hot Dutch oven and cook until onion is becoming translucent. Add in tomato paste and spices (paprika, red pepper flakes, thyme, rosemary). Continue to cook about one minute.

Add in tomatoes with their juices, wine, and molasses. Bring to simmer and return the shanks to the pan. Add in about one cup of the beef broth, or enough to cover the lamb shanks about half to three quarters of the way. Cover and move to preheated oven.

Cook for one hour, remove from oven and check the level of the liquid. If necessary add more beef broth. Return to oven, covered, and continue to cook for another hour.

(Optional) Skim off any fat/oil that has come to the surface of the pan. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve lamb shanks with sauce and vegetables along side of couscous, rice, or quinoa, and garnish with fresh parsley.

Verdict: These turned out really well. Like I mentioned, they weren’t an exact flavor twin of the lamb shanks from our favorite restaurant, but they were fall off the bone tender and had really great flavor.

Husband’s take: He liked them a lot. He said that he might even like them better (!) thank the restaurant version. However, he said he preferred them served with rice instead of “chicken feed” (whole wheat couscous). I should add that he ate the “chicken feed” without a problem.

Changes I would make: None. If you’re not a fan of lamb, try this with turkey thighs!

Difficulty: Easy to moderate.