These Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shanks are everything and more when it comes to decadent, supreme deliciousness. Tender, fall-apart lamb shanks braised in a luxurious pomegranate-infused, savory gravy until they melt off the bone. You’ll love this restaurant-worthy dish that’s filled with flavor galore! Pair these succulent lamb shanks alongside your favorite sides for a complete meal that everyone will enjoy!

pomegranate braised lamb shanks in large braised with beige linen on the side

Braised meats might be one of my favorite dishes ever. I mean, they are SO incredibly delicious, loaded with flavor from the slower cooking process, and fairly easy. The other element I love is the endless flavor variations of braising. I enjoy a good red wine braise, an all-stock/broth braise, and other ones. For example, these pomegranate braised lamb shanks…absolute perfection, y’all!

Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shanks 🥰

Gahhh, cannot get enough of this recipe right here. We’ve got tender, succulent lamb braised in a gorgeous pomegranate-infused, savory gravy; and loaded with a boatload of vibrant spices + plenty of aromatics. The lamb shanks cook down in all that goodness until the meat is meltingly tender and retracting from the bone. If you love lamb and flavor-filled, special meals…this is it!

More recipes: red beans and rice, brunch-fave shrimp and grits, southern fried cabbage and sausage, cozy chicken pot pie with biscuits, crispy parmesan crusted chicken and my favorite- lemon pepper chicken tenders– oh yea!

pomegranate braised lamb shanks in speckled bowls with gold fork and knife on the side

Ingredients Needed For This Recipe

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Lamb shanks: The star of this recipe! Lamb shanks are ideal for braises and stews. It’s a tougher cut of meat that needs slow cooking to achieve that melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Plus, shanks are super budget-friendly!
  • Vegetable oil: For browning the lamb shanks prior to braising.
  • Shallots: Adds a nice sweet and delicate flavor.
  • Carrots: Some fresh veg, and a classic aromatic ingredient, check!
  • Garlic: Gotta have plenty of garlic on deck for extra deliciousness.
  • Flour: Just a touch to help thicken the braising liquid.
  • Brown sugar: Provides more depth and contrast in flavors.
  • Spices: Seasonings are crucial for maximum, well-rounded flavor…smoked paprika, ground cumin, ground allspice, red pepper flakes, curry powder, bay leaves, and salt/pepper give this dish just that!
  • Balsamic vinegar: I love what balsamic vinegar does in this recipe. It adds a subtle sweet flavor while also acting as a meat tenderizer because of the vinegar. A nice bit of richness that really pops in these braised lamb shanks.
  • Pomegranate juice: This is one-half of our braising liquid; I use Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice. The tangy tartness of 100% pomegranate juice is so refreshing and works well with the other flavors.
  • Beef stock/broth: The other half of the braising liquid for balance.
  • Rosemary: Fresh herbs like rosemary add freshness and a fragrant pop.
  • Pomegranate seeds: For garnishing; an extra touch that’s so dreamy! 😍
ingredients for braised lamb shanks on beige surface

An unbeatable level of delicious magic happens with braising: the meat connective tissues tenderize and break down while absorbing the flavors that it’s accompanied with in the pot. These pomegranate braised lamb shanks do take a few hours due to the slower cooking process, but baby, the wait is worth it.

More slow-cooked, braised recipes you can’t miss:

How To Make Braised Lamb Shanks

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Season & rest the lamb: Generously season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Set the lamb shanks aside to come up to room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Afterwards, preheat the oven to 325°F. 
  2. Brown the lamb shanks: Heat the oil in a large dutch oven. Once hot, add a few lamb shanks into the pot, working in batches. Sear the shanks on all sides until a deep brown crust appears. Transfer the browned shanks onto a clean plate and repeat the process until all the shanks are browned. Then set the browned shanks aside and reduce the heat.
  3. Sauté the aromatics: Add the shallots and carrots into the pot. Sauté the mixture and season with salt/pepper. Continue sautéing until golden brown. Then add in the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant.
  4. Bring the flavors together: Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to coat. Add in the brown sugar, smoked paprika, cumin, allspice, red pepper flakes, and curry powder- stirring to fully combine. Then add in the balsamic vinegar to deglaze and use a wooden utensil to scrape up any caramelized bits on the bottom of the pot. 
  5. Assemble the braise: Return the browned lamb shanks back into the pot along. Pour in the pomegranate juice and beef stock/broth. Tuck the rosemary sprigs and bay leaves into the pot- carefully stir to combine. Increase the heat and bring the pot to a boil, then remove from heat.
  6. Braise the lamb shanks: Cover the pot with a lid and transfer the pot into the oven. Allow the lamb shanks to braise for 3 hours, covered. Then remove the lid and continue braising for another 30 minutes- until the shanks are super tender with the meat retracting from the bone.
  7. Adjust braising liquid, if needed: Remove the braised lamb shanks, bay leaves, and herb stems from the pot. To thicken the braising liquid in the pot, place over heat on the stovetop. Cook, gently stirring, for a bit until the liquid reduces into a more syrup-like consistency that coats the back of a spoon. Afterwards, taste and adjust with more salt/pepper, as desired.
  8. Serve these pomegranate braised lamb shanks expeditiously. I love serving these shanks with creamy mashed potatoes and extra braising gravy poured right over it all. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and enjoy your life! 😛
pomegranate braised lamb shanks in large pot

What To Serve With Braised Lamb Shanks?

These glossy, succulent braised lamb shanks pair so nicely with:

  • Mashed potatoes (the best pairing imo!) or mashed cauliflower
  • Creamy polenta or cheesy grits (peep my gouda grits)
  • Buttered noodles or zoodles (zucchini noodles)
  • Roasted veggies: broccoli, green beans, asparagus, brussels sprouts
  • Rice and peas, rice of your choice, cauliflower rice, creamy risotto, rice pilaf

Alternative Cooking Methods For Your Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shanks

Personally, I love braising in the oven, however, you can also achieve the same results on the stovetop and in a slow cooker/pressure cooker. Here’s how:

  • Stovetop braising: So easy! Follow the same instructions in the recipe card, below. When you reach step #5 (after simmering), just keep the pot on the stove over medium-low or low heat. Allow the lamb shanks to braise, covered, for 3 1/2 hours on the stovetop- then proceed with the recipe, steps 7-8.
  • Crockpot/Slow cooker braising: For this method, follow the same instructions in the recipe card, below (steps 1-5). Then carefully transfer everything into your slow cooker vessel, stirring every so often. Cook on low setting for 7-8 hours or on high setting for 4-5 hours. *Note: if your slow cooker has a browning/sear function, you can execute browning the shanks and sautéing the aromatics in it (steps 2-3).
  • Pressure cooker/Instant Pot: Follow the same instructions in the recipe card to season/rest the shanks. Set the IP to the sauté function. Once hot, add in the oil and sear the shanks (about 2 at a time) until brown on all sides. Then set aside and continue following steps 3-5 in recipe card. Close the lid and seal and set IP to the manual high pressure function for 60 minutes. After cooking, let the natural pressure release for 10 minutes and open the lid. >> To adjust braising liquid, remove shanks and set aside. Set the IP back to the sauté function and simmer sauce until reduced to desired consistency.
braised lamb shank on top of mashed potatoes in speckled bowl

Why This Lamb Shanks Recipe Works

Here’s why you’ll love this pomegranate braised lamb shanks recipe, friends:

  1. Restaurant-quality…This homemade recipe is super straightforward and easy yet filled with restaurant-luxe flair! Ya know, it’s a meal that you might find on the menu at a fancy fine dining spot, yasss.
  2. Flavor galore…There’s a whole lotta flavor-filled depth here that you will appreciate, I just know it. Rich, fall-apart tender lamb shanks soaked in a robust, flavorful gravy 🤤- no blandness going on here!
  3. Special occasion dish…You can whip up this recipe on a cozy Sunday evening or save for special events like date night, anniversaries, or birthdays. Additionally, it’s a true showstopper for holiday-centered meals such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and much more!
black hands with gold fork and knife digging into pomegranate braised lamb shank in bowl

These Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shanks thooo, so delicious. This dish is such a stunner and loaded with flavor! Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

Other incredible main dishes you might enjoy:

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pomegranate braised lamb shanks in large braised with beige linen on the side

Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shanks

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 20m
  • Cook Time: 3hrs 50m
  • Total Time: 4hrs 10m
  • Yield: 4-5 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Braise
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shanks are everything and more when it comes to decadent, supreme deliciousness. Tender, fall-apart lamb shanks braised in a luxurious pomegranate-infused, savory gravy until they melt off the bone. You’ll love this restaurant-worthy dish that’s filled with flavor galore! Pair these succulent lamb shanks alongside your favorite sides for a complete meal that everyone will enjoy!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 45 lamb shanks, excess skin trimmed as needed
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • 3 shallots, cut into wedges
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock or broth
  • 34 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pomegranate seeds, for garnish– optional

Instructions

  1. Season & rest the lamb: Pat the lamb shanks dry with paper towels. On a large platter or baking sheet, generously season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper on all sides. Set the lamb shanks aside to rest and to come up to room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Afterwards, preheat the oven to 325°F. 
  2. Brown the lamb shanks: Heat the oil in a large dutch oven (at least 5-quarts in capacity + oven-safe) or in a deep braiser over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, gently swirl the pot around to evenly coat the bottom. Add a few lamb shanks into the pot, working in batches, careful not to overcrowd. Sear the shanks on all sides until a deep brown crust appears, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer the browned shanks onto a clean plate/small baking sheet and repeat the process until all the shanks are browned. Then set the browned shanks aside and reduce the heat to medium.
  3. Sauté the aromatics: Add the shallots and carrots into the pot. Sauté the mixture, while stirring every so often. Season with salt/pepper- to taste. Continue sautéing until tender and golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Then add in the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. If you find the mixture to look dry while sautéing, add a bit more oil into the pot, only as necessary.
  4. Bring the flavors together: Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to coat. Allow this mixture to cook until the flour dissipates and lightly browns, about 1-2 minutes. Add in the brown sugar, smoked paprika, cumin, allspice, red pepper flakes, and curry powder- stirring to fully combine. Let the spices toast up nicely, about 1-2 minutes. Then add in the balsamic vinegar to deglaze and use a wooden utensil to scrape up any caramelized bits on the bottom of the pot. 
  5. Assemble the braise: Return the browned lamb shanks back into the pot along with any residual juices that have collected. Pour in the pomegranate juice and beef stock/broth- the shanks should be almost completely submerged under the liquid. Tuck the rosemary sprigs and bay leaves into the pot- carefully stir to combine everything. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the pot to a boil, about 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
  6. Braise the lamb shanks: Cover the pot with a lid and transfer the pot into the oven. Allow the lamb shanks to braise for 3 hours, covered. Then remove the lid, baste the shanks with braising liquid, and continue braising for another 30 minutes- until the shanks are super tender with the meat retracting from the bone.
  7. Adjust braising liquid, if needed: Carefully take the pot out from the oven. Remove the braised lamb shanks, bay leaves, and herb stems from the pot. Skim any fat off the top of the liquid, as needed. To thicken the braising liquid in the pot, place over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Cook, gently stirring, for a bit until the liquid reduces into a more syrup-like consistency that coats the back of a spoon. *Alternatively, to help thicken, you can add a cornstarch slurry (1 tbsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water, mixed together) while simmering. Afterwards, taste and adjust with more salt/pepper, as desired.
  8. Serve these pomegranate braised lamb shanks immediately. I love serving these shanks in shallow bowls on top of creamy mashed potatoes with spoonfuls of the braising gravy poured right over it all. Garnish the finished dish with pomegranate seeds, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.

Keywords: braised lamb, braised lamb shanks, lamb shanks, braised meat, braising, pomegranate lamb, pomegranate braise, lamb

closeup of pomegranate braised lamb shanks in skillet