Braised Lamb Shanks with Lemon-Caraway Gremolata Recipe

Lemon Zest


For the lamb:

  • 4 lamb shanks cross cut into 3-inch pieces (about 8-10 pieces)
  • Salt and pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups veal stock
  • 1 bouquet garni (parsley stems, bay leaf, and thyme tied with string)

For the gremolata:

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon toasted caraway seeds
  • 1-1 ½ tablespoons minced parsley

Sabrina Sexton’s Irish version of the Italian dish Osso Buco is served with root vegetables and a lemony gremolata that’s a bright addition to the tender, flavorful meat. 


For the lamb:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. If the lamb shanks are wet, pat them dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper on all sides.

Add the canola oil to a rondeau or stew pot and warm on the stove over medium heat. Add the lamb shanks to the heated pan and brown on all sides. Do not crowd the pan, brown the lamb shanks in batches if necessary. As the lamb shanks brown, remove them from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions to the pan and cook until limp and translucent. Add the diced carrots, parsnip and turnip to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for several minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the minced garlic and cook an additional minute, until the garlic is fragrant.

Deglaze the pan by adding the wine and scraping the bottom of the pan with a heat-resistant spoon to release any bits stuck to the bottom. Increase the heat and simmer the wine until it is reduced by half. Add the veal stock and heat until the mixture is simmering.

Return the lamb shanks to the pan and add the bouquet garni. Cover the pan and place it in the heated oven. Braise the lamb shanks for approximately 1 ½-2 hours, or until the lamb is tender and pulling away from the bone. Check the lamb periodically throughout the cooking. The liquid should be simmering, not boiling. Adjust the oven temperature as needed. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the lamb shanks. The longer the lamb shanks cook, the more tender they will become.

When the lamb shanks are tender, remove the pot from the oven. Remove the lamb shanks and skim any fat from the surface of the liquid. Simmer the sauce on top of the stove until the liquid reduces to a nappe consistency: the liquid should thicken slightly and coat the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. Return the shanks to the sauce to rewarm and coat with the sauce.

For the gremolata:

Combine the lemon zest, caraway, and parsley.

Place the lamb shanks on plates or a serving platter. Spoon some of the sauce and vegetables over each shank and sprinkle each with the gremolata.


Calories per serving:

1,084 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Carb Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 274g 422%
  • Carbs 70g 23%
  • Saturated 118g 591%
  • Fiber 17g 67%
  • Trans 0g
  • Sugars 26g
  • Monounsaturated 119g
  • Polyunsaturated 19g
  • Protein 353g 706%
  • Cholesterol 1,196mg 399%
  • Sodium 3,480mg 145%
  • Calcium 418mg 42%
  • Magnesium 508mg 127%
  • Potassium 7,961mg 227%
  • Iron 32mg 176%
  • Zinc 76mg 507%
  • Phosphorus 3,604mg 515%
  • Vitamin A 1,048µg 116%
  • Vitamin C 83mg 138%
  • Thiamin (B1) 3mg 205%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 6mg 353%
  • Niacin (B3) 99mg 496%
  • Vitamin B6 8mg 381%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 177µg 44%
  • Vitamin B12 50µg 831%
  • Vitamin E 8mg 40%
  • Vitamin K 183µg 229%
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