Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Pot Roasted Lamb Shanks with Orange and Rosemary

Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Pot Roasted Lamb Shanks with Orange and Rosemary
Lamb shanks pot roast with orange and rosemary. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Lemon is commonly associated with lamb dishes, but orange is great with lamb too. Pair orange with rosemary to offset the sweetness, and garlic because … well, why wouldn’t you add garlic to any lamb dish.

In a perfect world in which there was no reluctance to go out to the shops just for one ingredient, I would have used olives (black or green) in this dish too. But, as it turned out, there was no heed for them, as the dish was utterly delicious without them. So, follow this recipe as it is, 0r add a handful of pitted and chopped green or black olives to the mix. 

A key element in this recipe is that I happened to have some lamb stock in the freezer. I make a batch of lamb stock whenever I have lamb bones left over (roasted and then boiled in lots of water with roughly chopped onion, carrot, leeks and celery). It helps make a great sauce if you add it to the pan juices and reduce down before serving.

An additional tip on the olive front: the brine in the olive jar, combined with lemon juice and garlic, makes a fine flavour base for roast lamb, or to add to the pan juices while reducing down before serving.


(Serves 4)

4 lamb shanks

Olive oil or butter, for browning

Zest and juice of 2 oranges

3 or 4 garlic cloves, chopped

5 or 6 sprigs of rosemary, picked from their stems and chopped finely

Salt and black pepper, generous

200 ml lamb stock, plus more to keep in reserve


Preheat the oven to 220℃. Brown shanks all over in hot olive oil or butter, using a casserole, Dutch oven or similar (heavy cast iron pot with a lid). Add the lamb stock, keeping more in reserve. Zest the oranges and add the zest but none of the pith. Squeeze in the orange juice. Add the chopped garlic and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil on the stove top, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and place in the hot oven. After 10 minutes, turn the heat right down to 160℃ and leave to roast in the pot for three hours. Check after about 90 minutes and again later to see whether it needs more stock; add if needed. Add the remainder of the lamb stock to the pan juices and reduce down on the hob to make a sauce. Buttery mashed potato makes a great accompaniment.

TGIFood Tip: After slow-cooking until super-tender, quickly fry the shanks in butter before serving, to give them colour and shine. DM/TGIFood

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