Foil Baked Lamb Shanks

0
458
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.*

These foil-baked lamb shanks are a great way to turn a fairly humble and inexpensive piece of meat into a luscious feast fit for a king. 

They also make the most amazing, cold-weather carnivore comfort food. 

Now, hear me out.

Normally, I braise lamb shanks, like a lot of folks do.

Lamb shanks are a surly cut of meat: Tough as can be. You need to slow cook them to coax out marvelous flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture.

With this foil-baked lamb shank recipe, you slow roast them in the oven, which renders the meat preposterously tender. 

It also brings lots of visual drama to your dinner table if you’re doing a fancier affair.

Everyone gets their own shank, with its gloriously browned bone. (Re-enacting scenes from Game of Thrones, optional.)

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Serve each guest their own lamb shank, nestled on a bed of Basmati rice, creamy mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, or cous cous.  

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

To make these foil-baked lamb shanks, first you slather them in a paste made from good bacon, fresh rosemary, and salty black olives.

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

(Sidebar: This is actually a GREAT paste to use on chicken and pork, as well.) 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Then, you wrap them up in little foil sleeping bags, drench them in dry white wine, and slow roast them in the oven til they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. 

The whole thing is takes almost no active cooking time and is ridiculously easy. 

How to buy lamb shanks

When you buy lamb shanks, look for hefty, meaty shanks with more meat than fat.

The meat itself should be a darker red (darker than pork, lighter than a sirloin), and the fat should be white and creamy (not tinted in any way, like yellow or greenish). 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

The bone should be a sparkly, fairly even white color, never dull or brown.

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

If you have a good butcher and haven’t bought lamb shanks before, head there and talk to them.

They’ll steer you to the best shanks.  

Alrighty, enough yapping. To the ovens!

This recipe serves 2, but it’s super easy to scale up to feed a crowd (or down, if you’re in the mood for a decadent solo dinner).

How many you can make at a time really depends on how many you can fit in your oven.

Foil Baked Lamb Shanks

3 slices bacon
2 Tbls. fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic
5 oil-cured black olives, pitted
2 bone-in lamb shanks
2 Tbls. olive oil
Good, dry white wine (the kind you would drink)
Fresh chives or parsley, for garnish

Serves 2 

Make your flavor rub

Grab your bacon. I used black forest bacon from Whole Foods, but any kind will work!

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Put the bacon, rosemary, garlic, olives in the bowl of your food processor. 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Pulse and scrape the bowl down until it’s been reduced to a thick paste. 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

If you don’t have a food processor or don’t want to bother, you could do this with a good knife on a cutting board, it would just take a bit of time to get it to a paste-y consistency.

Apply the rub to your lamb shanks

Cut a few small slits in your lamb shanks (poke a paring knife maybe 1/4 inch in in a few places). 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Slather your lambs shanks with your rub, pushing some of it down into each slit you cut. 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

This is a greasy job, so if you don’t like getting your hands messy, slip on some gloves if you have ’em handy. 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Your goal is to coat the lamb shanks as best and as evenly as you can. It’s an imprecise situation, as you can see:

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Sear your lamb shanks

Preheat your oven to 325-degrees F.

Put the olive oil in a large pan. Heat it on the stove on medium high.

Add the lamb shanks and sear quickly on all sides to start to develop a crust and build flavor. 

Keep a good eye on them. The idea is to brown them but not burn.

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Wrap your lamb shanks in foil

Now that you’ve seared your lamb shanks, wrap them up!

Grab some aluminum foil. 

You want the foil big enough so that you can encase the meaty part of the shank, and expose the bone so it browns nicely (which makes a great table presentation).  

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

It kind of looks like you’re putting little booties on them. 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Set the lamb shanks in an oven-safe baking dish.

You want to use one that’s tall enough to keep them propped upright. 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Deglaze your pan

So the pan that you seared the lamb shanks in? See all those brown bits?

That’s pure flavor! 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Set the pan back on the stove over medium high heat.

Add a little white wine (maybe 1/4 – 1/2 cup) and stir vigorously, scraping the bottom of the pan to release all those flavorful brown bits. 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

You’ll wind up with a super fragrant sauce. 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Spoon the sauce over the lamb shanks

Spoon the sauce into the foil wrapped lamb shanks, dividing it fairly evenly. 

This will add extra flavor as they slow roast. 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Slow roast your foil wrapped lamb shanks

Pop your pan into your preheated, 325-degree F oven.

Roast for about 2 hours.

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

They’re done when the meat is tender enough to pull off the bone with a fork and the top of the bone is nicely browned. 

If you roll with a meat thermometer, they’re done when they reach an internal temperature of at least 145-degrees F (this will give you medium rare, which is really too rare for most folks for a lamb shank. Most folks like these falling off the bone, but use your discretion).  

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Serve and enjoy your foil wrapped lamb shanks!

When they’re done, unwrap and plate them up. 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

 

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Bacon, Garlic, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Foil Baked Lamb Shanks

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

3 slices bacon
2 Tbls. fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic
5 oil-cured black olives, pitted
2 bone-in lamb shanks
2 Tbls. olive oil
Good, dry white wine (the kind you would drink)
Fresh chives or parsley, for garnish

Instructions

    Make your flavor rub
  1. Put the bacon, rosemary, garlic, olives in the bowl of your food processor. 
  2. Pulse and scrape the bowl down until it's been reduced to a thick paste. 
  3. Apply the rub to your lamb shanks
  4. Cut a few small slits in your lamb shanks (poke a paring knife maybe 1/4 inch in in a few places). 
  5. Slather your lambs shanks with your rub, pushing some of it down into each slit you cut. 
  6. Sear your lamb shanks
  7. Preheat your oven to 325-degrees F.
  8. Put the olive oil in a large pan. Heat it on the stove on medium high.
  9. Add the lamb shanks and sear quickly on all sides to start to develop a crust and build flavor. Keep a good eye on them. The idea is to brown them but not burn.
  10. Wrap your lamb shanks in foil
  11. Grab some aluminum foil. You want the foil big enough so that you can encase the meaty part of the shank, and expose the bone so it browns nicely (which makes a great table presentation).  
  12. Set the lamb shanks in an oven-safe baking dish. You want to use one that's tall enough to keep them propped upright. 
  13. Deglaze your pan
  14. Set the pan back on the stove over medium high heat.
  15. Add a little white wine (maybe 1/4 - 1/2 cup) and stir vigorously, scraping the bottom of the pan to release all those flavorful brown bits. You'll wind up with a super fragrant sauce. 
  16. Spoon the sauce into the foil wrapped lamb shanks, dividing it fairly evenly. 
  17. Slow roast your foil wrapped lamb shanks
  18. Pop your pan into your preheated, 325-degree F oven.
  19. Roast for about 2 hours.
  20. They're done when the meat is tender enough to pull off the bone with a fork and the top of the bone is nicely browned. If you roll with a meat thermometer, they're done when they reach an internal temperature of at least 145-degrees F (this will give you medium rare, which is really too rare for most folks for a lamb shank. Most folks like these falling off the bone, but use your discretion).  
  21. Serve and enjoy your foil wrapped lamb shanks!
  22. When they're done, unwrap and plate them up, garnish with a sprinkle of fresh chives or parsley. 
7.8.1.2
607
https://www.thehungrymouse.com/2021/11/26/foil-baked-lamb-shanks/

SHARE
Previous articleEasy, Cheesy Eggs
Next articleBest recipes for cold and flu season
Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

LEAVE A REPLY