How to cook a lamb shank

Updated February 21, 2017

The lamb shank is a cut of meat taken from the forearm and shoulder of the lamb. It contains mostly bone, but the meat can be very flavourful. It is commonly braised, or cooked in a liquid, and the excess gravy is poured over the finished shanks. This recipe yields four .5 kilo lamb shanks, which will serve four people.

Heat 15 ml (1 tsp) of olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Add the lamb shanks and cook until browned on all sides. Remove shanks from the pot and set aside.

Peel and chop one medium onion and add it to the stock pot with 1 tbsp of minced garlic. Cook the ingredients for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion begins to wilt.

Add 400 ml of beef broth, ½ cup of red cooking wine, 1/8 tsp of black pepper, and a bay leaf to the pot. Stir well to combine and then add the browned lamb shanks. Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for one hour.

Dice two medium carrots, two celery stalks, and one turnip, and add them all to the stock pot. Simmer the ingredients for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the lamb shanks and vegetables are fork tender. Transfer the lamb shanks from the stock pot to a platter and cover with aluminium foil to rest.

Skim and discard any excess fat from the surface of the broth. Mash 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour into a paste. Drop small pieces of the mixture into the simmering broth, while stirring constantly, until all the paste is added. This addition will thicken the broth into gravy.

Season the gravy with a dash of salt and pepper, and remove from heat. Place each lamb shank on a large serving plate, cover with the vegetable gravy, and serve immediately.


For stronger garlic flavour, add one medium, pressed clove of garlic instead of minced garlic. Water can be used in place of the beef broth, but the gravy will be substantially less flavourful.

Things You'll Need

  • Stock pot
  • Olive oil
  • 4 x 0.5 kg (1 lb) lamb shanks
  • Onion
  • Minced garlic
  • Beef broth
  • Red cooking wine
  • Black pepper
  • Bay leaf
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Turnip
  • Aluminium foil
  • Butter
  • All purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Serving plates
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About the Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including