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How To Cook Lamb Shank

How To Cook Lamb Shank

Lamb shanks are a great cut, but need more cooking time than fillets or mince. Martin Nisbett, head chef at Angelus restaurant in London, shows how to cook shanks slowly for a delicious and tender casserole.


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140° c  -  280° f


  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 50 g tomato puree
  • 750 ml red wine
  • 1 1/2 ltr chicken stock
  • flour to dust
  • salt
  • pepper
  • vegetable oil


Marinate the lamb shanks in a large bowl with the red wine, carrot, onion, leek, garlic, rosemary, thyme, 1 bay leaf and the black peppercorns. Cover the lamb shanks with the mixture and place in the fridge to marinate overnight.

Once the lamb shanks have been marinated, remove them from the bowl and place on a clean, dry cloth. Drain the vegetables from the red wine, keeping both and setting them aside. Season the shanks well with salt and pepper. Dust the shanks lightly with flour, making sure there is an even coating all over.

Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan or ovenproof casserole dish. Place the lamb shanks in the pan and fry until golden brown on all sides. Once the shanks are browned, remove them from the frying pan and place in a casserole dish. If you are cooking them in a casserole dish, remove them from the pan and keep them on a plate.

Preheat your oven to 140 degrees. Heat the pan up again and add the vegetables and herbs from the marinade. Fry them gently to brown and caramelise them, making sure they don't blacken or burn. Once the vegetables have browned, add the tomato puree and cook through until it has browned. Now, add the red wine from the marinade to the pan in stages, a quarter at a time. Reduce each quarter down until it sticks to the pan, scrape this sediment off and mix into the sauce and add a new quarter of wine. Once you have used all of the wine, repeat the process in the same way with the fresh chicken stock. Make sure you use fresh chicken stock rather than stock cubes or powder as these are too salty for this process.

Once you have used all the chicken stock, the sauce should be a dark, shiny brown colour. Pour this into the casserole dish and over the lamb shanks or return the lamb shanks to your casserole dish. Cover the dish with tin foil and cook in the oven at 140 degrees for around 4 hours, until the meat is tender and beginning to fall off the bone.

To serve, remove the shanks from the pan. Remove the vegetables from the sauce and heat up the liquid. Skim off any impurities that may have formed and pour over the shanks before eating.