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Classic Braised Lamb Shanks are braised in the oven for fall-off-the-bone tender lamb that’s full of flavor. Also includes instructions for slow cooker and Instant Pot!

Bird's eye view of Braised Lamb Shanks in a ceramic cooking pot.

Lamb shank might be my favorite cut of lamb. Rack of lamb is fabulous is its own right, but there’s just something about that tender meat falling off the bone that makes me love my shanks. It makes it the perfect cut for someone who is new to lamb eating as well. This recipe isn’t too complicated and you don’t have to worry too much about timing and you can still put out a fabulous, gourmet meal.

 

Can I braise lamb shanks in the slow cooker?

Yes! This recipe can also be made in the slow cooker. Season the shanks with salt as directed in step 2 of the recipe. Searing in oil in a skillet is an optional step. Searing your shanks helps the fat render and seal in the moisture so it’s worth the extra time and dishes. But we also recognize that one of the benefits of using a slow cooker is a short prep time so that you can throw everything in. Place the seared or un-seared meat directly into a slow cooker. Add in all remaining ingredients and cook on low 8 hours.

Can I braise lamb shanks in an Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker?

Follow this recipe as directed, but instead of searing and baking the shanks in a large pot, you’ll do all of this in your pressure cooker. Sear the shanks as directed in step 2 using the sear setting on your electric pressure cooker. Saute the vegetable puree for 3-5 minutes then add in cranberry juice and the shanks. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes, followed by a 15 minute natural release. Then, switch the release valve to the venting position. Remove lid once steam has stopped coming out.

Seasoning Lamb Shanks

Pureeing Vegetables in Food Processor

Pouring Cranberry Juice into Braised Lamb Shanks

What liquid should I use to braise lamb shanks?

Red wine is a classic option when it comes to braising. In this recipe we give you the option of using red wine or cranberry juice. Red grape juice is also an option. Each provides it’s own subtle effect on the recipe. We like the cranberry juice as the tartness of the cranberry pairs really well with the delicate flavors of the lamb. Whichever you choose, it’ll result in a stunning meal with a gourmet feel.

Close up of Braised Lamb Shank in a cooking pot.

What should I serve lamb shanks with?

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Close up of Braised Lamb Shank in a cooking pot.
Classic Braised Lamb Shanks are braised in the oven for fall-off-the-bone tender lamb that's full of flavor. Also includes instructions for slow cooker and Instant Pot!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 white onion cut into large chunks
  • 4 medium-sized carrots cut into large chunks
  • 4 celery stalks trimmed and cut into large chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups cranberry juice or red wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a large oven safe pot over high heat.
  • Season the lamb shanks with salt. Add oil to the pan and brown the shanks on all sides. Once each of the shanks have been nicely browned, transfer them to a plate and set aside. 
  • Meanwhile, puree the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in a food processor. Add in tomato paste. Put this puree into the pan you used to brown the shanks and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the cranberry juice.
  • Return lamb shanks to mixture. Top with rosemary sprigs and place the lid on. Cook in the 350 degree oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until lamb is fork tender. Remove lid during last 30 minutes of cooking to allow shanks to brown. 
Notes

SLOW COOKER:

Season the shanks with salt as directed in step 2 of the recipe. Searing in oil in a skillet is an optional step. Searing your shanks helps the fat render and seal in the moisture so it’s worth the extra time and dishes. But we also recognize that one of the benefits of using a slow cooker is a short prep time so that you can throw everything in. Place the seared or un-seared meat directly into a slow cooker. Add in all remaining ingredients and cook on low 8 hours.
 

INSTANT POT/ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER:

Follow this recipe as directed, but instead of searing and baking the shanks in a large pot, you’ll do all of this in your pressure cooker. Sear the shanks as directed in step 2 using the sear setting on your electric pressure cooker. Saute the vegetable puree for 3-5 minutes then add in cranberry juice and the shanks. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes, followed by a 15 minute natural release. Then, switch the release valve to the venting position. Remove lid once steam has stopped coming out.

Nutrition

Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 1449mg | Potassium: 967mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 10550IU | Vitamin C: 21.4mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 4.2mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Easter
Keyword: Braised Lamb Shank

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Marian Bengal

5 stars
I’m going to try the lamb shanks this Sunday. And your mashed potatoes!
My Question is:
How do you keep your kitchen so clean?

5 stars
This is a very good recipe of a classic braised lamb shank. I agree with the way you think about lamb. I am not a professional, but I do know your addition of cranberry juice is fantastic. I like that it isn´t complicated to make. That makes it the perfect dish for me to make because I actually can´t cook. But maybe, I reckon that some salad gives that final touch. I think it will be a bit fresher. This is definitely a very good recipe and easy to make. Thank you for this amazing idea!

My boys are going to love this…they really enjoy lamb. I love that its made in the slow cooker too! Right now I can use all the easy recipes I can find!

What a user friendly recipe. I think your addition of cranberry juice is fantastic.

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