Braised Lamb Shanks

  • Serves

    serves 6


Chef Tom Valenti of Manhattan's Ouest uses the foreshank, a meatier cut than the hindshank, for this recipe for shanks braised in a stock flavored with wine, aromatics, and anchovies. This recipe first appeared in our March 2012 issue, with Mei Chin's article Bone Gatherer.


  • 6 lamb foreshanks, trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 34 olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 12 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 3 anchovy filets
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 13 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 4 cups veal or chicken stock


Step 1

Make the lamb shanks: Heat oven to 325°. Using a paring knife, cut each shank to the bone 1″ from the narrow end to help expose the bone while cooking; season generously with salt and pepper, and set aside. Heat 1⁄4 cup oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add celery, carrot, and onion, and cook, stirring, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add peppercorns, thyme, anchovies, bay leaf, and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes more. Add both wines, vinegar, and sugar, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, add stock, and keep stock mixture warm.

Step 2

Heat remaining oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add lamb shanks, and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer shanks to a large roasting pan, and pour stock mixture over and around shanks. Cover with foil, and bake in oven for 1 hour. Remove foil, and continue cooking, turning shanks every half hour, until tender and caramelized, about 3 hours.

Step 3

Remove shanks from braising liquid and pour liquid through a fine strainer into a bowl; skim any fat on the surface. Serve lamb shanks with liquid as a sauce.

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