Food The Main Event

RIDICULOUSLY GOOD Herbed Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks

April 7, 2014

Joanna Frankham Lamb Shanks


October 2016 Update: Please believe when I say, this lamb shank recipe is a total winner! It’s full of lots of veggies, bone broth and – of course – unctuously good lamb shanks. I always shred my shanks – I find the recipes goes further that way. And – this one is dinner-party worthy. You’ll have guests asking for the recipe…

“Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know?” – Julia Child

Do you know my all-time MOST popular post ever? It is the one about Jamie Oliver and His BEST EVER Pukka Spiced Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks. Even today, it remains in my top posts for hits – despite the fact that it contains nightshades and other non-AIP friendly ingredients.

And, in fairness to Mr Oliver, it is an awesome lamb shank recipe. Seriously pukka, even! But, given the chilli and tomatoes that are kind of central to Jamie’s dish, this is one recipe that definitely doesn’t fit the Autoimmune Protocol ‘rules’.

Down here in Sydney-town, the temperature has suddenly dipped a little as we head towards winter. And, on Saturday night I had a good friend coming for dinner. I happen to know she loves lamb shanks, so it seemed like just the time to amend Jamie’s recipe to meet my AIP needs.Joanna Frankham Lamb Shanks

And – I gotta tell you – they were RIDICULOUSLY GOOD! This is a great recipe to make over the weekend. I think there’s something quite therapeutic about chopping up all the veggies, and all that long, slow cooking makes the house smell so inviting.

Plus, once the dish is in the oven, there’s not much to do – there are loads of vegetables in the dish, so while I think serving your shanks on a bed of mash is recommended, you don’t really need any more greens unless you’d like the meat to stretch further.

And, as I tend to do with all my braises, I took my meat off the bone. I think it goes further this way. Of course you can choose to leave your shanks whole if you prefer.

Joanna Frankham Lamb Shanks

We had our shanks with a celeriac and parsnip mash. YUM!

RIDICULOUSLY GOOD Herbed Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks
Recipe type: The Main Event
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This recipe is AIP-friendly
  • 4-5 large lamb shanks (I managed to squeeze 5 large shanks into my le Creuset)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (finely chopped)
  • sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon happy fat (I used beef tallow)
  • 2 large carrots, quartered and diced
  • 4 sticks celery, diced
  • 1 large leek, washed and finely sliced
  • 2 large onions,finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 100 ml verjuice or white wine
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 250 mls bone broth
  • Handful flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
  1. Heat your oven to 180°C/350°F. I start by washing and chopping all my vegetables. Put aside in a large bowl.
  2. Throw chopped rosemary, thyme, dried oregano, cinnamon, and salt into your mortar and pestle. Give it a good bash. Rub the shanks in this mixture, pressing it in well. I find the best way to do this is to place your meat in a large plastic bag. Pour the herb mixture in and give it a good shake, ensuring each shank gets a good covering of the rub.
  3. Heat a thick-bottomed casserole pan, add your fat of choice and – when the fat has melted – brown the meat on all sides in batches and remove from the pan.
  4. Add the carrot, celery, onions, leek and garlic along with the extra chopped rosemary and a pinch of salt and sweat them until softened (about ten minutes).
  5. Add the apple cider vinegar and allow it to reduce to a syrup.
  6. Pour in the verjuice and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add the anchovies and then add the bone broth. Shake the pan and return the lamb to the casserole. Shimmy the shanks around to get a nice fit.
  8. Bring to the boil, put on the lid and pop in the oven for 2 – 2½ hours to work its magic. Then, remove the lid and cook for a further half an hour.
  9. If you want to take the meat off the bone, now is the time to do so. Carefully remove your shanks from the casserole. Using two forks, gently pull the meat from the bone. It should fall away. Once shredded, the meat can be returned to the casserole. I also take care to ensure I have removed all the marrow from the bones and pop that back into the dish.
  10. Taste for seasoning. Finally, stir in a handful of roughly chopped fresh parsley.

E N J O Y ! 

This recipe features in the Phoenix Helix AIP Recipe Roundtable

*Don’t worry, Missy K – I didn’t drop the lamb!

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  • kirsty warman April 7, 2014 at 10:03 am


  • petra8paleo April 7, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Mmmm, looks so good! I want someone to make me that. Like a fairy godmother, maybe. And anchovies! Nice touch!

  • twoblackdoggies April 8, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Another yummy recipe, love, love, love lamb shanks 🙂

  • Eileen @ Phoenix Helixe April 17, 2014 at 11:03 am

    This looks luscious! Thanks so much for sharing at the AIP Recipe Roundtable. I hope you’ll join us again.

    • This Sydney Life April 18, 2014 at 10:05 am

      Hi Eileen – thanks for stopping by. I’m a fan of Phoenix Helix and at week 10 of my AIP experiment. I will stop in again!

  • The Wanderlust Gene April 23, 2014 at 10:37 am

    … and healthy! 🙂

  • Autoimmunity and the Removal of Nightshades From Your Diet | This Sydney Life October 15, 2014 at 7:01 am

    […] check out some nightshade-free recipes, a couple that are on high rotation here at Casa TSL are my Ridiculously Good Herbed Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks and my Osso Buco – AIP […]

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  • viandriscol January 9, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Not sure where to find Verjuice. Any suggestions on a substitution?

    • This Sydney Life January 15, 2015 at 8:40 am

      Hi Vian – apologies for the tardy reply. Just back from a wee holiday.

      If verjuice isn’t readily available, white wine is good (if you tolerate it) or you could sub in a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and make up the difference with water. I promise they’ll taste amazing!

  • viandriscol January 15, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    I ended up using lemon juice, but you’re right, they were amazing! Too bad I only get 1 lamb a year and it only has 4 shanks! I actually made this in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. I just let the lemon juice bubble for a bit to reduce, and used less stock since it doesn’t reduce in the pressure cooker the way it would in a braise. Cooked it under pressure for 35 minutes and it was perfect.

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    […] is when I watch them in front of an All Blacks game!” Her favorite lamb dishes are these RIDICULOUSLY GOOD (her words, not mine – but I agree!) Herbed Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks, a Jamie Oliver-inspired Four Hour Lamb, and another take on the ever popular Shepherd’s […]

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    […] The fact that I now know it is possible to make these wee pies has really got my creative juices going. I reckon they’d be so good filled with my Tomato Free Ragu Bolognese or perhaps my Ridiculously Good Herbed Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks? […]

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