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30 mins
Lamb Shanks in Deep Rich Gravy Recipe

Lamb Shanks in Deep Rich Gravy

Rating 4-5 out of 5 - Most cooks definitely will make this recipe again
An Ideal Recipe for EntertainingAn Unusual Recipe

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Lamb Shanks in Deep Rich Gravy is a magical recipe, especially if you want to have your guests guessing at the secret ingedients. Even though the recipe uses anchovies (a very salty fish) you can't taste it in the finished dish but it totally transforms the meat and gravy, bringing out the delicious flavours.

Incidentally, 3lb (1½kg) of shanks is usually about 2 or even 3 shanks. If your butcher offers you one large one, reject it - at that size, it's probably old mutton! If you have any problems, simply use a leg of lamb instead.

      Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

      Cooking Time: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

A Top Choice Recipe for Flavour

Ingredients for Lamb Shanks in Deep Rich Gravy

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
to serve 4:
about 3 lb
lamb shanks (shins)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon
olive oil
1 clove
anchovy fillets
2 sprigs
bay leaves
½ pint
chicken or beef stock
½ pint
red wine
fresh parsley


How to Cook Lamb Shanks in Deep Rich Gravy

  1. Peel and roughly chop the onions and garlic. Season the lamb shanks with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Brown them in a large casserole with the olive oil over a high heat (I use a cast iron 'Dutch Oven' type casserole like you can see here at LeCreuset.com)
  2. When the shanks are lightly browned add the chopped onions and garlic. Chop four of the anchovy fillets and add to the casserole. Add the rosemary and bay leaves, then add the stock and the wine and bring to a simmer. (It doesn't matter whether you use beef stock or chicken stock. Personally I use beef stock to give a slightly richer flavour.)
  3. Bring the liquid to simmering, put the lid on the casserole and cook in a preheated moderate oven (Mk 3 - 325ºF - 170ºC) for two hours, turning the shanks halfway through. Once cooked, remove the shanks and place on a serving dish. Cover with foil and leave to rest in a warm oven.
  4. Meanwhile complete the sauce by adding two or three more chopped anchovies and a handful of chopped parsley. Bring the sauce to the boil, check the seasoning then pour over the resting lamb shanks and serve with Champ and French Style Peas for a filling and hearty meal full of secret, deep flavours.

Garlic can leave a strong after-taste so, before chopping, cut the cloves down the middle long-ways and remove the central 'germ' (the thin stem that looks like a pale green or translucent vein). You will still be able to enjoy the flavour without the lingering taste.
GRAHAM'S WINE RECOMMENDATION: GrahamA Cabernet Sauvignon (a firm red wine with black fruit, oak and herbs) like Clos du Marquis, St. Julien, makes an excellent accompaniment to Rich Gravy Lamb Shanks. Whilst full-bodied, it offers soft, integrated tannins with succulent and velvety fruit flavours and pairs wonderfully with rich lamb.
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Reviews of Lamb Shanks in Deep Rich Gravy

Rating 4 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again February 08 2015
First time round I was disappointed, but it was my own fault because I used foreshanks which are far smaller and less meaty than hindshanks. I generally use the foreshanks in stocks and soups, so never gave it a second thought. My Bad!!. This is, in fact, a lovely recipe because the second time round I used big meaty hindshanks and they were stunningly delicious. Well done for a great recipe.
(4 reviews)
Rating 4 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again November 25 2014
I am old enough to remember a time when lambs shanks, oxtails, flank steak and chicken wings were considered inferior cuts and could be purchased very reasonably (ie., they were cheap). Now, lamb shanks have become "gourmet" and cost more than most steaks. I therefore only buy them when they are on sale, which is rare. But not wishing to miss out (considering the other reviews) I bought a nice leg of lamb and followed the recipe exactly the same. YES, those other reviewers were spot on. This is an incredible way to serve lamb. Very, very happy to have found the recipe and I'll certainly be doing it again.
(2 reviews)
Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again August 01 2014
This is a magical recipe for those who aren't convinced by the surf and turf concept. You can't taste the fish, but it totally transforms the meat and that deep rich gravy. I can honestly say that lamb will never ever taste the same again. You don't know what you're missing until you try this recipe. My whole family just loved it (and they can be quite picky at times). Definitely a long-term keeper. I'll maybe try it with a leg of lamb next.
(3 reviews)
Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again August 19 2013
One of the best dishes I have ever made, and I have cooked a lot of food in my life! Okay. I love meat on the bone but this was beyond description with that rich, rich sauce and its hidden anhovies. There were a few leftovers so I pulled the meat from the bone and cut it into bite-size pieces, reheated the remaining sauce and applied it liberally to a plate of pasta. So, so good!
(4 reviews)

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