Thursday, October 27, 2011

Braised Lamb Shanks and Shoulders

This is one of those slow cooking recipes that makes your kitchen smell so warm and inviting on a cold winter day or crisp fall afternoon. Plan on at least 1/2 lb of meat person (for bone-in shoulders) or one lamb one shank per person. When buying bone-in shoulders, a lot of the white you will see in the shoulder roast is connective tissue, not fat. It will cook down slowly and add texture and flavor to the sauce. You can also make this in a slow cooker. Do the lamb browning and onion cooking in a separate pan, then transfer all ingredients to the slow cooker.
NOTE: The sauce, if there is any leftover, makes an awesome pasta sauce. Add some tomatoes and red wine if you need more volume.

Lamb shoulder roast, bone-in – approximately 3 to 4 lbs. OR 4 to 6 lamb shanks
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
6 to 8 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 28 oz can of Italian tomatoes (or 2 lbs fresh if available)
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon oregano or Italian dried herbs
1½ cups red wine or chicken or lamb stock
2 bay leaves
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Heat oil in dutch oven. Brown lamb on all sides. Remove lamb and add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Drain off excessive fat. Add tomatoes, carrots, red wine, bay leaves and oregano. Break up tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Return lamb to dutch oven and bring to a boil on top of stove. Lamb should be at least half submerged. If not, add some water.

Immediately, place covered Dutch oven in oven. Bake in oven for 3 to 4 hours. Half way through, flip the lamb over so the opposite side is submerged. Lamb is done when it is falling off the bone and can be cut with a fork.

Serve over polenta, rice or noodles with green beans or kale and a green salad.


  1. Lamb shanks are covered in a thin fat layer and they do well when braised or cooked slowly in liquid, making them perfect for crockpot cooking. lamb shanks

  2. Here is a recipe using leftover lamb in a salad