Carnivore Braised Lamb Shank Recipe

carnivore braised lamb shanks

You will find three braised lamb shank recipes in this post, one is strictly carnivore and two have a few herbs and spices. They are all super easy to cook and don’t need much preparation.

Lamb shanks and their nutrition

Lamb shanks are from the lower leg of lambs. They are a tough cut of meat with tendon intact and the most popular way to cook lamb shanks is to braise them on low heat on the stovetop or in the oven for a few hours.

The combination of tender meat, soft tendon (a great source of collagen) and bone marrow makes this a delicious and super nutritious dish.

Braised lamb shanks are high in proteins, moderate in fat and rich in many nutrients such as riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

Prepping the lamb shanks

For all the recipes below, to prep the shanks, use a sharp paring knife to sever the tendon attached to the bone at the narrow end of the shanks.

Severing the tendons this way will allow the meat to shrink away from this end of the shank during cooking and help creating a nicer presentation of the dish later. You certainly don’t have to if you find it unnecessary.

Some people also remove the membranes and visible fat on the lamb shanks but I find this unnecessary as well.

Carnivore braised lamb shank recipe

This is a strict carnivore recipe and is suitable for those who are doing a carnivore experiment (e.g. a 30-day challenge) or who are trying to fix some underlying health issues with the carnivore diet.

Ingredients

  • 4 lamb shanks (you will need at least one lamb shank per person)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbs tallow
  • 2 cups bone broth.

Instructions

  1. Bring the lamb shanks to room temperature by leaving them on the kitchen bench for 30 minutes to an hour
  2. Preheat oven to 320°F (160°C)
  3. Heat a cast iron casserole pot or a Dutch oven until very hot but not burning. Add the tallow and heat till it bubbles
  4. Add lamb shanks to the pot, two at a time, turn regularly and cook till the shanks are well-browned all over. Because this is a strict carnivore recipe, in the absence of herbs and spices, it’s important to well brown the shanks because this is what create the flavor for the dish thanks to the Maillard reaction. If you don’t have a lot of cooking experience, please check out these tips on browning meat
  5. Add bone broth and sea salt and bring to boil
  6. Place the pot in the preheat oven and cook for 2½ hours or until the shanks are fork-tender.

Carnivore-ish braised lamb shank recipe

This carnivore-ish recipe just needs a few basic herbs and spices for added flavors.

Ingredients

  • 4 lamb shanks (you will need at least one lamb shank per person)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbs tallow
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves.

Instructions

  1. Bring the lamb shanks to room temperature by leaving them on the kitchen bench for 30 minutes to an hour
  2. Preheat oven to 320°F (160°C)
  3. Heat a cast iron casserole pot or a Dutch oven until very hot but not burning. Add the tallow and heat till it bubbles
  4. Add lamb shanks to the pot, two at a time, turn regularly and cook till the shanks are well-browned all over. Transfer the lamb shanks to a plate
  5. Add onions to the pot and fry them quickly for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the seasonings, mix and cook for 1 minute
  6. Add bone broth. Bring to boil. Return the browned lamb shanks to the pot
  7. Place the pot in the preheat oven and cook for 2½ hours or until the shanks are fork-tender.

Carnivore-ish Vietnamese lamb shank recipe

This is based on a recipe for Vietnamese lamb shanks.

While it has a lot of ingredients that you probably don’t use very often, it’s very easy to make, the flavors and aromas are amazing, and it’s definitely worth the effort for a special dinner or for when you have special guests.

You can double or triple the recipe and freeze the leftover for later to save time and make use of the seasonings. Braised lamb shanks can freeze really well.

Ingredients

  • 4 lamb shanks (you will need at least one lamb shank per person)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbs tallow
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • 1 brown onion, halved and cut into half moons
  • 1 tbs finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 deseeded red chillies
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed, halved and cut into 1.5- inch sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • juice 1 lime
  • 1 tbs honey.

Instructions

  1. Bring the lamb shanks to room temperature by leaving them on the kitchen bench for 30 minutes to an hour
  2. Preheat oven to 320°F (160° C)
  3. Heat a cast iron casserole pot or a Dutch oven until very hot but not burning. Add the tallow and heat till it bubbles
  4. Add lamb shanks to the pot, two at a time, turn regularly and cook till the shanks are well-browned all over. Transfer the lamb shanks to a plate
  5. Add onions to the pot and fry them quickly for 30 seconds. Add ginger, garlic, and chilli and cook for 1 minute
  6. Add salt, star anise, lemon grass and bone broth. Bring to boil. Return the browned lamb shanks to the pot
  7. Place the pot in the preheat oven and cook for 2½ hours or until the shanks are fork-tender
  8. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and 1 tsp honey to lift the flavor.

If you don’t want to eat the seasonings, transfer the lamb shanks to a plate and then use a strainer to filter out all the herbs and spices.

You can also use just a pair of tongs to remove as much herbs and spices as you like.

Alternatively, put all the seasonings in a spice bag and remove them after the braising process is done.

Modifying non-carnivore lamb shank recipes

There are many lamb shank recipes that you can find on the internet which usually call for a lot of spices and herbs, tomato purée, cooking wine, flour, etc.

If you would like to modify them to suit your taste, try to stick to single-ingredient herbs and spices only and avoid drowning the shanks in seasonings, especially flour, tomato purée, and chopped tomatoes.

As mentioned in the osso buco recipe, tomato is high in lectins which are toxic and inflammatory and can cause a whole host of diseases such as autoimmune diseases, intestinal permeability, Crohn’s disease, Coeliac-Sprue, and colitis.

In my opinion, if you are a healthy individual and tolerate plant food well, a bit of herb and spices are perfectly okay and can even offer some health benefits.

However, you really don’t need a lot of herbs and spices to enjoy this dish. You can have a delicious hearty dish even with just salt and a thick bone broth.

I usually just stick to the strict carnivore recipe unless I cook for others.

carnivore braised lamb shanks in a plate with the bones removed
Tender, fall off the bones braised lamb shanks are delicious, nutritious, easy to cook and very affordable

References

How to cook lamb shanks

Vietnamese lamb shanks with sweet potatoes

Braised lamb shanks

How to Prep Lamb Shanks

Nutrition in lamb shanks

DisclaimerThe information in this post is for reference purposes only and not intended to constitute or replace professional medical advice. Please consult a qualified medical professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.

Sophia Le, PhD

I'm Sophia Le. A few years ago, I came across the carnivore diet by accident. I was intrigued and tried to find out as much as I can about this way of eating. On this site, I write about what I know so people who are interested can learn about it and make decisions that are best for their health.

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