Today I asked Don if he wanted lamb for dinner and his enthusiastic reply was, ‘Oh, yeah! I will get us a nice bottle of red wine to go with it’ What a guy! So, Lamb Shanks – Osso Buco Style is what we are having for dinner tonight. Yum!
This recipe for Lamb Shanks – Osso Buco Style is a favorite entrée at our home. The meaty lamb shanks are oven braised for two to three hours with a combination of vegetables, garlic, wine and fresh herbs. The finished lamb shanks are tender and insanely delicious swimming in a rich bed of veggies and sauce.
What is Osso Buco?
Osso Buco originated in Milan where veal shank is traditionally used in the preparation. The name, Osso Buco is Italian for bone with a hole in it which refers to the marrow hole at the center of the cross-cut veal shank. However, seeing as I do not ‘do’ veal and Don loves lamb I prepare Osso Buco with lamb shanks.
This is a very uncomplicated recipe and makes a wonderful entrée to serve for a special occasion. Before serving to guests, although I do verify that they like the taste of lamb.
When I was growing up lamb was not something that my mom prepared as my dad preferred beef. He said he had enough lamb during his sheep-shearing days. I had not experienced the great pleasure of the taste of lamb until I was married and my good friend, Kathy, invited us for dinner and roasted a leg of lamb. I was hooked!! Lamb in some form finds its way to our table quite often.
How to Prepare Lamb Shanks – Osso Buco Style
It all begins with a couple nice meaty lamb shanks. I am using American lamb shanks and I asked the butcher to not cut them at the joint. Australian or New Zealand lamb shanks can also be used if they are available in your area.
The lamb shanks are seasoned with salt and pepper then they get a good browning in a heavy-bottomed, lidded Braiser or Dutch oven. Next, chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic are sautéed just until softened. Crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock, wine and fresh rosemary and thyme are added. Then those lovely, browned lamb shanks are snuggled down into the mixture and the covered pot is transferred to the oven for a long, slow braise.
During the cooking your kitchen will be filled with the most incredible aroma! The lamb shanks and vegetables do their magic transforming these simple ingredients into an insanely delicious dinner entrée.
All you need to complete this awesome dinner is a dish of creamy polenta, a crisp salad, a crusty loaf of bread and your favorite red wine. Enjoy!
More Great Recipes:
- Braised Herb Lamb Shanks
- Chipotle Pork Chop Sheet Pan Dinner
- Roasted Duck Legs with Orange Sauce and Wild Rice
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
This was previously published November 2013. Now updated with new photos the same recipe!
Lamb Shanks - Osso Buco Style
Yield 2-4 Servings
Lamb Shanks - Osso Buco Style is a savory entree of lamb shanks braised long and slow in wine, vegetables and herbs. Serve with a potato mash or polenta.
- 2 large meaty lamb shanks (approx. 1½ pounds each)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoonsbutter
- Sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
- 4 carrots 8” long, coarsely chopped
- 4 stalks of celery 8” long, coarsely chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups good red wine
- 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a heavy bottomed oven proof pan or dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Season the lamb shanks liberally with salt and black pepper. Cook until browned on all sides, turning frequently. Transfer the lamb shanks onto a plate and set aside while preparing the vegetables and sauce.
- In the same pan add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic and sauté over medium heat until softened, stirring often so that it does not burn. Adjust heat if necessary.
- Add the wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, rosemary, thyme and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and add the reserved lamb shanks. Cover with a lid, transfer to the oven and braise for 2 hours. Remove the lid after 1½ hours and continue to roast the additional 30 minutes until the lamb is very tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened up a little.
- Divide the lamb shanks into four shallow dishes with some of the sauce spooned over the top and along side of the lamb.
- There is about 8-10 ounces of lean meat on each of the large lamb shanks, nutrition values are based on 4 ounce servings.
- These are also delicious served with mashed potatoes.
Serving Size 4 oz. lamb & 3/4 cup veggies
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 26.5 g
Saturated Fat 9.9 g
Cholesterol 64 mg
Sodium 1237 mg
Total Carbohydrates 2.3 g
Dietary Fiber 5.2 g
Sugars 10.5 g
Protein 14.6 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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