Mediterranean Lamb Shanks is a hearty dish and this recipe is ideal for dinner for two. The lamb is browned and slow cooked in the oven in a mixture of aromatic herbs and spices. This is a comfort food dish but can serve as part of a celebratory meal or Sunday supper for two.
I love a dish where the herbs and spices do most of the work and that all you have to do is add them at the right time. The process for this recipe is as follows:
- Brown the meat.
- Saute mirepoix (carrots, celery and onion).
- Add herbs and spices.
- Deglaze with red wine.
- Add stock and place in oven to cook.
This is a great blueprint for how to slow cook meat, if you ever plan on creating your own recipe.
Lamb shank is a tough meat which requires low and slow cooking. Time and patience is needed. However, if like me you are still socially distanced and spending most of your time at home, Mediterranean Lamb Shanks is a great cooking project to tackle.
Lamb shanks are a great alternative to serving the more expensive cuts of lamb, such as leg of lamb or rack of lamb. If you have a crowd to feed you can double or triple most of the ingredients. Just use your discretion and taste test at every step.
Adding cannellini beans provides great texture to this dish and is aces when serving with rice. I used canned cannellini beans and therefore simply added them to the shanks close to the end of cooking. If you prefer to use dry beans, you will need to cook them first, separately from the shanks. Cooking dry cannellini beans on the stove will take 90 minutes, in a pressure cooker or instant pot it will take approx. 35 minutes.
Fresh mint is a great ingredient in any lamb dish. If you have trouble finding fresh mint, you can nix it from the recipe and move on. If you do have some mint make sure to sprinkle some chopped mint when serving. It’s a great finishing touch for flavor and eye appeal.
30 minPrep Time
2 hr, 30 Cook Time
3 hrTotal Time
- 2 x 1 lb - 1 1/2 lb lamb shanks
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 large carrots (cut into large chunks)
- 1 celery stick (cut into large chunks)
- 1 cup yellow onion (sliced thick)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint + 1 tbsp (chopped)
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
- 2 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups unsalted vegetable stock
- 1 can (16 oz) cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
- Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a large skillet.
- Brown shanks on all sides and when complete place them into a large ovenproof dutch oven and set aside.
- In the same skillet you browned the shanks in, add carrots, celery and onion and saute until onions soften and brown a little.
- Add 1/4 cup of mint, rosemary, garlic and paprika and continue to saute until flavors release.
- Deglaze pan by adding red wine and mixing it in with the ingredients, you should be able to remove any bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet, release them all, there's lots of flavor in those bits.
- Carefully pour red wine mixture on top of shanks and place dutch oven on a high heat.
- Add vegetable stock and when liquid bubbles cover dutch oven and place in a preheated oven at 350 and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Check a couple of times to monitor progress.
- After cooking for 1 1/2 hours remove dutch oven and carefully remove shanks and place them on a board or plate.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the chunks of carrots, celery and onions and discard.
- Taste the gravy in the dutch pot and adjust flavors according to taste by adding what you think the gravy is lacking, if any.
- Add cooked cannellini beans and stir then place the shanks back in the dutch oven.
- Cover dutch oven and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with balance of mint when serving
The carrots, celery and onion are discarded once their flavors are released, therefore, they should be cut into large chunks to make for easy removal.