Braised Port Lamb Shanks

Yield : 4 servings

Note : Can be made 1 day ahead. Let lamb cool then place in the refrigerator covered. Reheat in 350°F oven for 1/2 hour before serving.)

Easy, Moderate, Complex


  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (15 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (15 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (5 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt (15 ml)
  • 4 large lamb shanks
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (30 ml)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small leek, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup Tawny Port (375 ml)
  • 1 cup veal stock (250 ml)
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tablespoons butter (30 ml)
  • 3 tablespoon honey (45 ml)
  • Kosher salt and pepper


  1. Mix coriander, fennel, and peppercorns in a small frying pan. Toast on medium-high heat until aromatic and slightly darker, about 2 minutes.  Using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, crush the spices.  Add the salt.  Rub each shank with the spice blend.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 °F (160 °C).
  3. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add shanks to skillet. Cook until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, carrots and leek; sauté over medium heat until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add Port, veal stock, garlic, rosemary and thyme to the skillet.
  4. Cover with lid or foil.  Place in oven and braise lamb until tender, for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the meat falls off the bone.  Remove lamb shanks from the skillet and filter the sauce through a fine sieve over a stockpot. On medium heat, let the sauce reduce by half for about 15 minutes. 
  5. Meanwhile, in another skillet, melt the butter and add the lamb shank.  Coat them with honey.  Caramelize the shanks on all sides over medium heat on the stove for about 5 minutes, adding a ladle of the sauce.  Keep warm.
  6. Serve the lamb shanks with the sauce, buttered green beans and a parsnips mash or any other mash to taste.