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!
- 4–5 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
- 3–4 rosemary sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- pomegranate arils, for garnish– optional
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 arils, if desired. Enjoy!
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