Culinary Institute of America Recipe
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Braised Lamb Shanks

In the Oven or by Slow Cooker

This dish is fall and winter comfort food. The shanks are packed with flavor and the long, slow cooking process makes them tender, juicy, and succulent while yielding a rich sauce. 

This recipe—and other great ones—can be found in The Culinary Institute of America's cookbook, Low & Slow: The Art and Technique of Braising, BBQ, and Slow Roasting.

Chef’s Notes:
Slow Cooker Method: At the point in step 5 where the broth and meat are combined, add everything to your slow cooker and proceed as suggested by the manufacturer. 

Braised Lamb Shanks recipe - F



Makes 6 Servings

  • 6 to 8 lb lamb shanks
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, as needed
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup peeled, medium-dice parsnips or carrots
  • 1 cup medium-dice onion
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 qt beef or lamb broth
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a 9- by 13-inch braiser or Dutch oven (or any pot that can accommodate the shanks and be covered with a lid or aluminum foil) over high heat. Add the shanks, and sear them until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the shanks from the pot and reserve. This may require working in multiple batches or using more than one pot to avoid overcrowding. Do not overcrowd the pot or the meat will steam and not brown.
  4. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the cooking fat from the pot. Add the parsnips or carrots and cook over medium to high heat until they start to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and continue to cook until the onion is golden brown in color, about 2 minutes more. Add one-third of the wine, and continue cooking to reduce the wine until only the fat is remaining in the pot. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes to reduce. Stir in another one-third of the wine to thin out the tomato paste, and continue cooking until the wine has evaporated. Add the final one-third of the wine and continue cooking until all of the wine has evaporated.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, add the flour, and stir until the flour turns reddish brown, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the broth and add the bay leaf and lamb shanks. Increase the heat to establish a simmer.
  6. Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Periodically check the shanks to make sure that the cooking liquid is simmering, making adjustments to the oven temperature as necessary to maintain a simmer. Continue cooking until the shanks are fork-tender, about 1½ hours. To check for tenderness, pierce the shanks with a fork or bamboo skewer, and when the meat does not hang on the fork or skewer they are tender enough be removed from the cooking liquid. Remove the shanks from the pot and reserve.
  7. Return the pot of cooking liquid to the stovetop over medium heat and simmer, skimming off as much fat as possible, until the sauce has reached a consistency that will coat the back of a wooden spoon. Strain the sauce and serve with the lamb shanks.

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