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    Citrus-braised Lamb shanks

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    Citrus-braised Lamb shanks

    If you've ever roasted a whole leg of lamb, you'll know what a shank is – the knobbly, not-very-meaty bit at the end that usually gets overcooked and thrown away. Not, as you can imagine, an expensive cut. However, if you simmer shanks gently and slowly, their gelatinous tissue softens and mellows. Add a good dose of citrus flavours and you end up with something really quite delicious. Serve this dish with mashed potatoes, polenta or creamy beans such as butter beans or cannellini.

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes
    • Cooking time: 165 minutes
    • Total time: 3 hours 10 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 10 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 carrot, finely diced
    • 1 onion, finely diced
    • 2 celery sticks, finely diced
    • 2 tbsp thyme leaves
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 tbsp tomato purée
    • 375ml white wine
    • 250ml lamb stock
    • 1 lemon, juice and finely grated zest
    • 1 orange, juice and finely grated zest
    • 4 lamb shanks (approx 1.5kg)
    • 2 tbsp chopped parsley, to garnish


    1. Heat some of the olive oil in a large casserole, add the diced vegetables and sweat without browning, until tender (about 6–8 minutes). Add the thyme, bay, garlic, tomato purée, wine and lamb stock, along with most of the citrus juice and zest (reserve a few pinches of zest and 1 tbsp of each juice). Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
    2. Preheat the oven to 130°C, gas mark ½. Heat a little more olive oil in a separate pan and brown the lamb shanks on all sides, seasoning as you go. Add them to the casserole and cover with its lid. Transfer to the oven and cook for about 2½ hours, until the meat is completely tender and falling off the bone.
    3. Remove the shanks from the pot and keep them warm while you finish the sauce. Skim off some of the fat from the surface of the liquid, then taste what remains in the pot for seasoning and to assess its intensity. Boil to reduce if you think it needs it. Stir in the reserved lemon and orange juice to refresh the citrus flavour. Return the shanks to the casserole to serve at the table, where you can sprinkle over the remaining citrus zest and the parsley.

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