Braised Lamb Shanks


  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 lamb shanks, about 1 1/4 pounds each
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 cups hearty red wine
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves
  • 10 to 12 thyme branches tied together in a bundle
  • 3 to 4 cups beef stock
  • 4 bay leaves


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Coat the inside of a large Dutch oven with olive oil and bring to a high heat on the stove top. Season the shanks generously with salt & pepper, and add them to the pan. Brown well on all sides, the darker, the better.

Remove the shanks from the pan to a sheet tray, place the tray in the oven . Add the chopped veggies to the Dutch Oven. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sauté the veggies in the pan drippings until they are browned and aromatic.

Add the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the wine and stock.

Add the shanks back to the pot. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, and thyme bundle. Cover the pot and put it in the preheated oven. The cooking time will be about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Turn the shanks over about halfway through the cooking time. Check the shanks every 45 minutes or so. If the liquid has reduced too much, add more water or stock. Skim excess fat, if necessary.

When the shanks are done the meat should pull away from the bone and will be incredibly tender and flavorful. Transfer to serving plates, this dish can be enjoyed with roasted potatoes, or served over mashed potatoes or polenta.