Monday, May 13, 2013

Lamb Shanks . . . Tender, Juicy . . . Cooked to Perfection!

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Growing up, once in a great while, Momma would make a leg of lamb. It was disgusting . . . With a strong musky flavor, and that mint jelly? . . . Don't even get me started! Momma was a good cook, but not when it came to lamb!

Last week they had a Manager's Special on lamb shanks, $2.99 a pound. I couldn't pass it up! Lamb shanks take time to cook properly. Because they're a tougher cut of meat, most recipes call for 1 1/2 bottles of red wine. Don't get me wrong, they taste wonderful cooked in all that wine, but that much wine adds way too many carbs!

This recipe adaptation comes from Jamie Oliver's cookbook ~ Cook With Jamie, and reminds me of those times we wrapped our supper up in tin foil, and tucked it under orange coals to cook over an open campfire, under the stars!

Lamb Shank with carrots in herbed winesauce, makes a beautiful presentation!



I can't stress enough, how wonderful it is to slip outside and snip my own herbs (sage, rosemary and thyme) for dishes just like this one! This is the perfect way to begin herb gardening, if you've never done it before, start with these 3 herbs and you will be amazed at the incredible infusion of flavor! Your meals will go from ho-hum to WOW!



6 sprigs of fresh rosemary

1/4 cup cold butter

16 fresh sage leaves

2 large sprigs of fresh thyme

sea salt

black pepper, freshly ground

4 quality lamb shanks, crown or French-trimmed

12 cloves garlic, unpeeled

3 large carrots, peeled and sliced

1 onion, peeled and finely sliced

1 leek, washed, halved and finely sliced

Olive oil

1 1/2 cups of white wine



  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  • Pick leaves off 2 sprigs of rosemary; finely mince together with 10 sage leaves and leaves from 1 sprig of thyme.
  • With a fork, incorporate the minced herbs, salt and pepper into butter to make an herb-butter.
  • Using a small sharp knife, cut between the meat and the bone from the base of the shank upwards.
  • Make the hole large enough to insert your finger, to form a pocket.
  • Insert 1/4 of the herb-butter into the pocket (this will infuse wonderful flavor into the heart of the shanks and keep them nice and juicy!).
  • Tear off arm-length pieces of tin foil and fold each in half to give you four 11-inch x 16-inch pieces of foil.
  • Divide your garlic and veggies (carrot, onion and leek) between the 4 foil squares.
  • Make a pile of veggies in the middle of each square.
  • Rub the lamb shanks with olive oil and season well with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Top each lamb shank with a sprig of rosemary, 2 sage leaves and 1/3 of the thyme sprig.
  • Carefully pull up the sides of the foil around the shank and pour a 1/4 of wine into each.
  • Gather foil around the bone, pinching it tightly together.
  • Repeat with all the 4 shanks, then place the foil parcels on a baking tray with the bones facing up.
  • Put in the preheated oven for 2 1/2-hours or until meat is tender.
  • Serve standing up with veggies around the shank and garlic mashed potatoes.
While it's nit essential, I cleaned up the shanks a bit by removing some of the tough facia and tendons using a sharp knife and kitchen scissors. I also scraped the shank-bone for a prettier presentation.
I added an extra step ~ browning my shanks in a bit of extra virgin olive oil . . . As you can see, I had a difficult time trying to stuff the herb-butter into hot lamb shanks . . . The butter melted all over!

I was truly shocked at how tender these shanks became by roasting them in the foil packets! If you're looking for a real "show stopper" for that special dinner, these Lamb Shanks make a beautiful presentation!

Place veggies in center of square, add shank and top with fresh garlic and herbs.

This is a simple, low carb meal, if you skip the potatoes, and add a green vegetable or salad.

We're low carbing it . . . Over at Julie's!!!



  1. Hi,
    These Shanks looks tasty!
    Could you tell me how long you left the Shanks to cook in the oven?

    1. Hi Oday - I cooked my lamb shanks for 2 1/2 hours, and they were so tender!


Your comments and questions are welcomed . . .