Soft, tender meat and deliciously flavored braising sauce, a whole braised lamb shank is a real treat, and there’s a lot of different things you can do with them. In this recipe, Chef Ben Spangler demonstrates braising a shank in a cast iron pot over coals with tomatoes, vegetables, and herbs.
The tomato absorbs the flavor of the meat, and the shank becomes meltingly tender and soft. Chef Ben does this over coals, as you can see in the video at the end of this post, but shanks can also be braised in the oven at 325°F for 1.5 hours or until tender.
This recipe is by chef Ben Spangler. Hailing from Minnesota, Ben draws from his Midwestern roots to create dishes that are unpretentious and delicious. Ben has competed on national television for the Food Network and appeared on local Minneapolis food networks. He is currently executive chef at Mercy in Minneapolis.
Shepherd Song Farm lamb shank
1 large garlic clove, or 2-3 small
1 fennel bulb
1 celery stalk
1 bunch Italian parsley + 2 Tablespoons
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock
2 teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Water, as needed
Salt and pepper
- Season shanks with salt and pepper
- Dice onion and rough chop garlic
- Cut the fennel bulb in half, then cut 1 half into quarters and the other half into thin slices
- Peel carrots and quarter half of them.
- Rough chop the remaining carrots.
- Cut the tomatoes into wedges.
- Large dice the celery stalk
- Slice the chives
- Add some oil to the pan, then brown the shanks on high heat, then remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the onions, celery and fennel to the pan and brown gently.
- Add fresh and canned tomatoes, herbs and spices.
- Return the shank to the pot and add water to cover the meat halfway. Add additional water as needed to prevent the shanks from drying out.
- Pan sear the remaining quartered carrots and fennel when the shank is nearly cooked, about 1.25 hours, and cook until tender.
- When the lamb shank is tender, about 1.5 hours, remove the pot from the oven.
- Ladle some braising liquid into bowl and add shank on top, garnishing with additional braising sauce as desired.
- Garnish with the roasted vegetables, minced chives and parsley, olive oil and black pepper.