I’ve been told I must share this with you. My oven Lamb Shanks recipe was a hit tonight, and our guest couldn’t resist asking me to write down my unique method. So here it is, an oven cooked delight instead of your typical messy stovetop method (where you brown the meat in a fry pan on the stove).
Here’s my little secret: Well, I guess it’s not a secret if you’re a chef. I love browning the shanks in the oven at the highest temperature my pot can handle (around 200°C). Trust me, this trick gives you that perfect brown without splattering on the stove, with no turning necessary, so there is less fuss. This is something we do in a professional kitchen when we’ve got loads to cook off, but it’s a breeze to do at home, and the results are just fabulous.
Lets talk about the ingredients for lamb shanks
- Lamb shanks – Let’s get cozy with lamb shanks! Slow-cooked to perfection, these babies will just melt right off the bone. But hey, let’s get a bit adventurous – give them a nice browning first. Trust me, it’ll pack in so much more flavor. Plus, browning them in the oven? Time-saver. You can kick back and relax instead of dancing around a pot.
- Olive oil or your favourite cooking oil – add this to your meat, most shanks are trimmed well these days, but they need a little fat to help them brown. Adding oil here will help evenly brown your shanks.
- Zucchinis – You can add any veg you like to this dish; it will be slow-cooked; some veg will break down over time, and others will stay together, but I don’t mind. The veg that breaks down when cooked for so long helps flavour and make the sauce, others stay whole and give texture.
- Red capsicum – I love to add them to this dish to give a little sweetness and some colour of course.
- Fennel – Fennel is a beautiful vegetable, provided you like an aniseed taste. I prefer it over celery and often use it as a replacement. I steam it, oven-bake put it in stock, sous vide it, slow cook it and use it in salads. It’s pretty firm and needs time to cook, or if you’re using it in a salad, you need to slice it very finely. The fronds are great to use in a salad or as a garnish too.
- Pitted black olives – A love or hate relationship? No worries. Keep them in or leave them out. I love the depth they bring, but hey, you do you!
- Chopped parsley – if you don’t grow this at home, you should. Next time you’re at the supermarket, grab a pack of seeds. Toss them in a garden bed around spring/summer, and you’ll have parsley forever. It will eventually go to seed, but it will self-set again. We have it all around our Cooking school and in front of our home.
- Leek – You must wash them well because they’re grown in sand. But I love them. They’re not as strong as onions; when they cook down, they’re creamy, adding to the sauce in the dish. Awesome.
- Annalisa Tomatoes – If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I love these tomatoes. I know they’re from Italy, and it would be best if we could choose an Aussie brand, but I can’t find an Aussie brand that is as good. The juice in the tin is thick and lucious. Try them; you can thank me later. 😂😂😂
- Chicken stock pot – I keep chicken and beef stock pots in my pantry. They provide a big flavour hit. For this dish, I chop the gel up so it can mingle with the rest of the dish.
- Beurre Manie- if you’ve never used this, then here’s something you’ll love. Make a paste of 50% butter and 50% flour, roll it up into a log, wrap it in cling film or baking paper and keep it in the freezer when you need to thicken a sauce. All you need to do is cut a portion, stir it through, and let it do its magic, thickening the sauce as it cooks without creating lumps.
Fun fact – The term “Beurre Manie” is French for French for “kneaded butter”.
What will you serve yours with?
I love mash to soak up all those yummy juices. I’ve written a post on how I make my mash. But wait, while you’ve got your oven on; you could take advantage of the heat and make these scalloped potatoes. Or what about these hassleback potatoes, they look and taste amazing.
Mind you, there’s enough veg in this dish to serve without extra potatoes, but don’t tell the boys in this house I said that. 🤣🤣🤣
Oven Lamb Shanks (slow cooked)
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- 4 lamb shanks
- 30 g olive oil or your favourite cooking oil
- 2 zucchinis chopped into large cubes
- 1 red capsicum chopped
- 1 fennel trimmed and sliced
- About ½ cup of pitted black olives
- A handful of chopped parsley
- 1 leek cut and washed
- 1 tin whole Annalisa tomatoes
- 1 chicken stock pot cut up and stirred
- About 40g beurre manie a 50/50 butter/flour paste, optional for thickening
- Preheat Your Oven: Grab a lidded pot suitable for your oven, and preheat it to the hottest temperature it can withstand. Mine is 200°C
- Prepare the Lamb Shanks: Place the shanks in your pot and liberally coat them with oil I use a spray bottle. Pop the pot in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes, or until the shanks are browned to your liking.
- Prep the Veggies: While the lamb is in the oven, chop and slice your veggies, tossing them into a bowl as you go. This'll make them ready to join the lamb when the time comes.
- Brown the Meat: Keep an eye on your shanks, and when they're perfectly browned, it's time for the next step.
- Combine Ingredients: Add all prepped ingredients to the pot, except the beurre manie. Stir everything together so it's nice and friendly in there.
- Cooking Time: Pop on the lid, turn the oven down to 160°C -180°C, and let the pot work its magic for around 3 hours. Feel free to dance around the kitchen while you wait! 😆🤣 The temperature and time may need to be adjusted depending on the pan you've used. Slower, longer 160°C, have it suit your timing.
- Thicken if Needed: Depending on how much liquid is in the pot, you might want to thicken it up. If so, grab your beurre manie from the freezer and stir it in 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
- Serve and Enjoy: Your kitchen should be smelling pretty amazing by now. Serve up those shanks and enjoy a home-cooked meal that's sure to impress!
Voilà! A mouthwatering dinner your guests won’t soon forget. Give it a try, and let me know how it turns out. Happy cooking!