Braised Lamb Shanks

Vegetables are interesting but lack a sense of purpose when unaccompanied by a good cut of meat- Fran Lebowitz

Braised Lamb Shanks are a go-to whenever I am having a party…..or on occasions when I want to get laid show my appreciation for my boobbli aka bambam aka pookie aka my one and only (……sigh after 7 years, a girl occasionally has to resort to prepping a 3 hour meal to get some!!)

Please be forewarned I am not one of those anal (excusez mon français) cooks who measures precise quantities of anything (unless I am baking) because I believe cooking is all about fun and you should let your spirit flow free….just be careful when it comes to salt…..add an ingredient here get rid of another there, nothing is set in stone, use and substitute depending on what you have at hand. In the spirit of being accommodating I have tried to approximate the quantities of ingredients used. Owwwwkay enough of the diatribe against quantum physics precision cooking let’s get on with it.


All the veggies required for this recipe
  • Some 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (sunflower oil is a good sustitute…..or whichever veg oil you have…..think heathy….
Healthy Heart……not padlock!!
  • several stalks of celery, chopped (for exact quantities…count the stalks in the picture with all the )
  • Numerous large carrots, chopped
  • A bunch of onions
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of honey
  • 8 whole cloves garlic…..a whole head of garlic will work just as well!
  • Some mint
  • A few sprigs of rosemary
  • A handful of leeks
  • About 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • eyeball several tablespoons tomato paste (call it 3 Tbs, if it pleases your heart)
  • 4 lamb shanks (oooi! i can see disapproving eyebrows arching across kitchens…..fine! fine! each shank should be about 0.5 Kg….Worry not if it’s 0.6 Kg, the Shank police aren’t very efficient!)…I used a fore shank and part of the breast….coz thats what I had in my freezer 🙂
  • About 10 cups chicken broth


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or a deep ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and season with 2 teaspoons salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste, mix well and cook for about 4 mins.

Veggies happily cooking away

Salt,pepper and rub the cumin on the lamb shanks

My lamb Shank AHHEM fore shank and part of the shoulder
My lamb Shank AHHEM fore shank and part of the shoulder

and lay them in a single layer, over the vegetables in the Dutch oven. Add enough stock to surround but not cover the shanks and bring to a simmer. Place the lid on your dutch oven….or oven proof skillet and transfer to the oven. Braise the shanks,  turning every 30 minutes or so, until the meat is fork tender, about 2 – 2 1/hours.

Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for about 15 minutes to allow the fat to rise to the surface of the sauce. Transfer the meat to a plate then skim the fat from the surface of the braising liquid….soon to be the sauce from sauce heaven. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing down on the vegetables with a spoon or your bare hands …the kitchen is a tough setting grrrrrrrrr… to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the veggie veggz. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Finally serve and most importantly partake in the feasting…..just don’t forget to take pictures of the final product like I always seem to !!!

P.S: Get to know your Lamb …….just like Mary’s little lamb, this one has a cute face, cerulean blue eyes, is wooly.cuts.

Image courtesy of:
Image courtesy of: