Rosemary Lamb Shank Stew

This stew is great served with rice or crusty bread. Leave out the potatoes and serve atop polenta or mashed potatoes, if you prefer. This stew is even better the next day, as the flavors really come together over time.


4 lamb shanks

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into rounds

2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks (optional)

10 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon red chile pepper flakes

1 750 ml bottle dry red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon

1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, including the juices

1.5 quarts beef broth

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

The full peel of one lemon, peeled into one long, twisted strip with a potato peeler or paring knife

Cooking or butcher's twine

3 tablespoons de-stemmed rosemary, chopped

1 tablespoon thyme, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions

  1. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy, large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Sear 2 shanks at a time in the pot, browning on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer the shanks to a plate.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped onions, diced carrot, chile flakes and garlic to the pot. Sauté until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the wine to the pot and bring to a boil; simmer to reduce the wine by about half, roughly 6-8 minutes.
  5. While the wine is reducing, tie the bay leaf, rosemary and thyme sprigs tight with the lemon peel into a bouquet garni.
  6. Add the shanks back to the pot and stir in the diced tomatoes and bouquet garni. Add the beef stock last; pour just enough to submerge the shanks.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Braise for about 1.5 hours.
  8. Uncover the pot; add the remaining carrots, potatoes (optional), chopped rosemary and chopped thyme. Cook about 30 minutes longer, until the carrots and potatoes are tender.
  9. Discard the bouquet garni and transfer the shanks to a plate. Let them slightly cool before tearing the meat into chunks.
  10. Return the lamb chunks to the pot and season with salt and pepper.
  11. Serve over rice or with crusty bread. If you chose to leave out the potatoes, serve over polenta or mashed potatoes.

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