Cooked slowly, this easy lamb shanks recipe makes a great alternative to a Sunday roast or Easter lunch. Simmered in sweet, tangy pomegranate juice, the lamb shanks become meltingly tender and the sauce develops a rich, meaty flavour. Serve with mashed potato for a traditional feel, or some simple couscous for a hassle-free side.
- Preheat the oven to gas 3, 160°C, fan 140°C. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish over a medium-high heat, add the lamb shanks and brown all over, turning with tongs. Once browned, remove the shanks to a plate and set aside.
- Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, garlic and a pinch of salt to the pan and fry for 4-5 mins until softened. Return the lamb to the pan, add the thyme, stock pot and pomegranate juice. Season to taste and bring to the boil, then cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 2 hrs.
- Remove from the oven, turning the shanks over in the liquid so they cook evenly, and add the carrots. Return to the oven for a further 1 hr 30 mins or until the shanks are tender and the carrots are cooked through.
- Transfer the shanks and carrots to a plate and discard the thyme sprigs. Set the casserole over a high heat on the hob and simmer for 10 mins or until the sauce has slightly thickened and reduced.
- Stir in the peas, then return the shanks and carrots to the casserole. Allow to simmer for 3-4 mins until the peas are cooked and the everything is heated through. To serve, garnish with the fresh mint and pomegranate seeds (if using).
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
The cooked lamb shanks can be frozen if making ahead. Follow the recipe to the end of step 3. Leave to cool completely then transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container, seal and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight before reheating. To reheat and serve, place over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the dish is heated through then continue to reduce the sauce and add the peas as in steps 4 and 5.
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