How to Braise Lamb

Braising sounds fancy, but it's actually a simple, hands-off method that you can try at home! Impress your family or guests with flavorful, tender braised lamb -- here's how.

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Prep and Season

Braised lamb can be made in one of two ways: In the oven or on the stove. If you're oven braising, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

  • Trim off excess fat from the meat, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in a 4-to-6-quart Dutch oven.
  • Add the meat to the hot oil. (It should sizzle.) Brown the meat on all sides, but don't cook it all the way through. Remove from pan and pour off any fat, then return to pan.

Choose Braising Liquid

Your options for liquid and seasonings are numerous – it's totally up to you! These suggestions are for four bone-in lamb shanks (about 1 pound each).

For liquids, use ¾ cup total.

  • Try: Beef or vegetable broth, apple juice, cranberry juice, tomato juice, a combination of broth and dry wine, or water

For dried herbs, use 1 teaspoon.

  • Try: Basil, herbes de Provence, Italian seasoning, oregano, or thyme

For fresh cut herbs, use 1 tablespoon.

For liquid seasonings, use 1 tablespoon.

  • Try: Barbecue sauce, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, steak sauce, or Worcestershire sauce

 

Note: Lamb shanks weighing 1/2 to 1 pound should be braised for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature – it should reach 160 degrees F.

Complete Your Dinner

Lamb Shanks with Barley

There's no need to make a separate side dish – potatoes and other vegetables can be added right to your pan of lamb! Use about 1 pound of peeled potatoes and 1 pound of other veggies, if desired.

  • Try: Butternut squash, peeled carrots or parsnips, sliced celery, trimmed and sliced fennel bulb, sliced leeks or shallots, trimmed mushrooms, onion wedges or peeled pearl onions, and peeled turnips or rutabaga
  • For even more lamb ideas, try one of these delicious meals tonight.
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