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Braised Lamb Shanks With Garlic


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  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 meaty lamb shanks - (abt 1 lb ea) do not trim
  • external fat
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground white pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Banylus wine, vin doux naturel from
  • Provence (or Port)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 4 plump fresh garlic heads separated into
  • cloves, but not peeled
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Servings 4


Step 1

Quatre Epices: Grind the allpsice in a spice grinder. Grind the cloves in a spice grinder. Combine the spices in a small bowl and add grated nutmeg and ground cinnamon. Use immediately.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Braised Shanks: Rub quatre epices all over the surface of the lamb shanks. Season with sea salt and white pepper. Stand the shanks, wider-side down, narrow-end up, in a large roasting pan. Place the pan in the center of the oven and roast, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Transfer the lamb to a platter and set aside.

Off the heat, deglaze the pan with wine, scraping up any cooked bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Return the lamb to the pan standing on end, wider-side down. Add the stock, cover, and return to the oven. Braise, without disturbing the meat, until the meat is very tender and just beginning to fall off the bone, about 1 1/2 hours.

For the Garlic Confit: Place the garlic in a small saucepan and cover with the olive oil. Cook, uncovered at the barest simmer, over the lowest possible heat, until the garlic is soft and a small knife inserted into a clove, meets no resistance, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove lamb from oven and place on a platter. Strain the juice through a fine mesh strainer into a gravy boat. Drain the garlic and serve with the lamb.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

Recipe courtesy Patricia Wells, "The Paris Cookbook", (Harper Collins, 2001)

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