How to cook lamb shanks

Looking for a dinner idea? See how to cook lamb shanks that fall off the bone and melt in your mouth

how to cook lamb shanks
(Image credit: Getty)

If you are always looking for a hearty, filling dinner idea, then you need to know how to cook lamb shanks. When cooked well, you get deliciously tender meat that just falls right off the bone. Juicy, flavoursome and an easy starting point for lots of indulgent dinners, nail this lamb shank recipe and you can start adapting the recipe to your own tastes. Our simple recipe is for braising lamb shanks in a glug of wine in your oven, for a hearty sauce.

For more recipe ideas, check out our food hub.

How to make lamb shanks

To feed 4 you will need:

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, roughly diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 large glass of red or white wine (175ml)
  • Bouquet garni/2 bay leaves and a sprig of thyme or rosemary
  • 500ml meat or veg stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to gm4/180C/350F

2. Dust your lamb shanks with flour and heat a large oven-proof casserole dish on your hob. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan and brown the lamb shanks. You might need to do two at a time unless you have a wide-based pan.

3. Once browned, set aside and add the onions to the pan. Cook until soft, throw in the garlic and wine. 

4. When the wine is reduced a bit and the alcohol cooked off, add the herbs and return the lamb shanks to the pan.

5. Cover with stock and bring to the boil.

6. Cook in the oven for two hours. Check on the lamb after an hour and 15 minutes and remove the lid to thicken the sauce.

7. The lamb shanks are ready when the meat is cooked through and parting from the bone. If the sauce needs to thicken, you can add some flour, or remove the lamb shanks and reduce the sauce on the hob.

8. Serve with your potatoes of choice or boiled rice and veggies.

Serving idea: Add harissa seasoning to the flour and turn this into a Moroccan-style dish. Add dried apricots if you like and serve with roasted vegetable cous-cous.

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