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Braised Lamb Shanks Marinated in a Mediterranean Spice Mixture

Braised Lamb Shanks

Course: Main
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Holiday
Difficulty: Easy
Number of Ingredients: 14
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 278kcal
Author: Marilyn
Seasoned with a blend of Mediterranean herbs and spices, these braised lamb shanks are pure bliss. They get a brief sear in a Dutch oven and then are ready for the oven. While the hands-on time is minimal, the dish will look and taste like you have fussed over it all day.
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  • 4 meaty lamb shanks, preferably hind shanks, trimmed about 4 ½ lbs
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 teaspoon crumbled saffron
  • 2 limes, zest and juice of
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1 orange, zest of
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups hot chicken broth or water
  • 2 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoon coarsely chopped dill


  • Season shanks with salt. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, black pepper and turmeric. Sprinkle mixture over shanks and rub in. Wrap shanks in plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  • In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add ½ inch of oil and heat until shimmering. Working in batches, add lamb shanks and cook, turning frequently, 5 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining shanks.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine saffron, lime juice and ½ cup warm water. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Discard all but 2 tablespoon oil from the Dutch oven. Over medium heat add onion and cook, stirring often, 7 to 9 minutes or until softened and lightly browned. Season onion with salt. Stir in zest of 1 lime, orange zest, thyme. bay leaves and saffron mixture.  Arrange shanks in the Dutch oven and pour in broth. Heating until boiling.
  • Cover pot and bake for about 1 ½ hours or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160° when inserted into the thickest part of the shank for medium and meat is beginning to fall off the bone.
  • Transfer shanks to a large shallow dish and cover with foil. Strain liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Discard onions, thyme and bay leaves. Skim fat from liquids. Season to taste with salt. Cook juices over medium heat until warmed through.
  • Meanwhile, remove lamb from bones and break into large chunks. Discard bones. Transfer lamb to individual wide serving bowls. Ladle juices into bowls. Serve garnished with parsley and dill.


Serving Suggestions:
Serve with rice, steamed vegetables and a loaf of crusty French bread. 


Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 1441mg | Potassium: 830mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 44.8mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 5mg