Lamb, a classic springtime meat, stars in this comforting dish that's perfect for the chilly, dreary days between winter and spring. Garnish with sliced green onions. Breaking up the cooking time yields a superior texture and flavor but you can also cook the lamb all at once, simmering until fork-tender for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Recipe Summary

15 mins
3 hrs 10 mins
8 hrs 30 mins
11 hrs 55 mins
2 lamb shanks


Original recipe yields 2 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper.

  • Heat olive oil in a deep-sided pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add lamb and cook, turning as needed, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and reduce heat to medium.

  • Place chopped onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in the pan. Season with a large pinch of salt. Cook and stir until vegetable juices start to come out, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to coat, about 1 minute. Pour in beer and stir in rosemary. Raise heat to high and bring sauce mixture to a simmer.

  • Toss lamb shanks in with the sauce mixture. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until lamb is nearly fork-tender, flipping lamb after 1 hour, about 2 hours. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes. Refrigerate, 8 hours to overnight.

  • Skim the fat off the top of the sauce, if desired. Cover and bring lamb to a simmer over low heat. Flip and continue simmering until meat is fork-tender and nearly falling off the bone, about 45 minutes. Place lamb shanks in a bowl to keep warm.

  • Bring sauce to a boil over high heat. Boil until reduced by half but not too thick, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Plate the lamb shanks and spoon sauce on top.


Chef's Notes:

Ask your butcher for the smaller fore shanks if possible.

Choose any pot just large enough to fit your 2 lamb shanks snugly.

Use any kind of beer that is not too hoppy.

Nutrition Facts

387 calories; protein 29.8g 60% DV; carbohydrates 22.4g 7% DV; fat 14.4g 22% DV; cholesterol 82.2mg 27% DV; sodium 1362.8mg 55% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (14)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
Awesome. Read More
18 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 16
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Awesome. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I'm a huge fan of Chef John recipes. I'm sure this one is excellent as presented, however, I wanted one that works in a slow cooker. I followed the recipe but substituted 12 oz of red wine (malbec) for the 12 oz of beer, added 3 sliced mushrooms, and then cooked it on low in the slow cooker for 6.5 hours (5.5 to 6 is sufficient but I wanted fall off the bone, so I used 6.5). I served it over polenta. Both my wife and I thought this was outstanding!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
It was delish and it has become my midweek special hubby enjoyed every chew:-) Read More
Rating: 5 stars
No changes. Loved it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
The best New Years Eve meal! Served with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts and a great red wine! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I use All Recipes quite frequently for ideas at the restaurant I work at. Was recently thrust into the Executive Chef position which the bar was set pretty high from previous Chef. I use Chef John's recipes quite often and get nothing but great reviews from our customers. This recipe was no exception 5 stars across the board. Thanks Chef John. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
this recipe was fabulous Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Excellent. Did steps 1-3 as written switched to the slow cooker. Removed shanks before refrigerating overnight then followed the rest of the instructions as-is. Thanks Chef John! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was amazing! I used a 2.5 lb boneless leg of lamb. After refrigerating overnight and skimming the fat, I removed the chunk of meat and pureed the vegetables into the broth, cut the meat into chunks and simmered it again for another hour, served over egg noodles. So very good, thank you Chef John! Read More