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Smoked Lamb Shanks

Our Smoked and Braised Lamb Shanks take meaty lamb shanks and give them the pellet grill treatment before taking a long hot simmer in a rich braising liquid made from broth, wine, and tomato.

Smoked and Braised Lamb Shanks

Lamb shanks aren’t something that is commonly found on American dinner tables, or even on American restaurant menus, but if you are skipping this flavorful cut you are really missing out. Not only are they versatile and delicious, but they are also more budget-friendly than the more expensive cuts like lamb chops or a rack of lamb.

This rich wine-based braising liquid gets infused with the flavor of the lamb shanks and becomes a sauce/gravy (both terms would be pretty appropriate here, which is a rarity) that you can pour over mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.

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Smoked Lamb Shanks shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • lamb shanks
  • mushroom powder (optional)
  • salt & pepper
  • paprika
  • red wine
  • beef stock
  • onion
  • whole peeled tomatoes in sauce
  • fresh thyme
  • bay leaf
  • allspice
  • fresh mushrooms
  • corn starch

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How to make Smoked & Braised Lamb Shanks

This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.


Rub the shanks

Mix the seasonings together and give them a good rub-down.


Smoke them

At 175° on whatever smoker you’ve got, for 2 hours.


Time to braise

We do this on the stovetop, but if you really wanted to, you could do it on the pellet grill. This part takes another 3-4 hours.



Remove the bay leaf and allspice. Thicken the sauce if necessary, and serve with garlic mashed potatoes or pasta.

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What can you serve with Smoked and Braised Lamb Shanks?

We served our lamb shanks with some sliced sauteed zucchini and yellow squash, mashed potatoes, and salad. Our Traeger Grilled Zucchini would also be a great option, as would our Wild Rice Pilaf.

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Smoked Lamb Shank FAQ

How do you store leftover smoked lamb shanks?

Store your leftovers in an airtight storage container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. I suggest removing the meat from the bone if you’ll be freezing this for a later date.

How do you reheat your leftovers?

The microwave would be fine to heat up leftover lamb shank that’s off the bone. If you kept yours on the bone, the oven would be a better option. Bones don’t microwave very well. 😉

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Yield: 6 servings

Smoked and Braised Lamb Shanks

Smoked and Braised Lamb Shanks

Tender, delicious lamb shanks are slow-smoked before getting braised in a delicious mix of wine, stock, and tomatoes.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes


  • 6 lamb shanks
  • 1 tablespoon mushroom powder*
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika

Braising Liquid

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 can (28 oz.) whole peeled tomatoes in sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves allspice
  • 4 ounces chopped fresh mushrooms


  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 cup cold water


  1. Preheat your pellet grill or smoker to 175°.
  2. Mix the mushroom powder (if using), salt, pepper, and paprika together and rub onto the lamb shanks.
  3. Place the lamb shanks directly onto your grill grates, and let them smoke on the grill for 2 hours.
  4. Remove from the grill and place them into a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add the remaining wet and dry braising ingredients to the pot. Cover, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 3-4 hours. Check the lamb shanks for tenderness and remove them from the pot when they are fork-tender.
  6. Remove the bay leaf and the whole allspice from the broth and then carefully spoon the broth into a blender. (Alternatively, a stick blender works well for this too.) Blend until smooth.
  7. Pour the blended broth back into the stockpot and bring it back to a boil.
  8. Make the roux and add it to the broth to thicken it into a gravy.
  9. Add the lamb shanks back into the pot and let simmer for another 20-30 minutes.
  10. Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.


* If you don't have mushroom powder, you can omit it from this dish and the end result will still be amazing. Highly recommend picking some up though! It adds a ton of flavor to a lot of dishes.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 187Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 574mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 16g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate.

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Nicole Johnson
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Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

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