Slow-cooked lamb shanks are succulent, flavorsome and literally fall-off the bone. Smothered in tomato sauce which simmers away for hours, this recipe uses fragrant herbs which infuse the shanks and when cooked with time they become so moist and tender the whole family will devour them. 

Don’t be overwhelmed by how long they take to cook as there is very little work to do – you just need quality ingredients and patience! Recreate these heavenly slow cooked lamb shanks at home and understand with every single bite why this is my 1 year old son Sebastian’s absolute favourite dish!

Watch the Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks video recipe

How to make SLOW COOKED LAMB SHANKS Like an Italian

lamb shanks


3 x top-quality lamb shanks

1 large carrot (chopped)

½ onion (chopped)

1 celery stick (chopped)

Fresh parsley

250ml/1 cup vegetable stock

2 bottles of tomato passata (about 1.4L)

Salt and pepper

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)



Cutting board

1 knife (to chop the vegetables)

1 large cast iron Dutch oven with lid


1 wooden spoon

1 ladle (for serving the sauce)



  1. Slow cooked lamb shanks start with a delicious base – my soffritto! Add extra virgin olive oil to a cast iron Dutch oven on medium heat to medium-high heat, covering the bottom of the pan.

VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Make sure to use a cast iron pan for this slow-cooked lamb shank recipe, so everything cooks evenly. 

  1. Add in the soffritto, aka the onion, celery, and carrot, to the hot oil and stir using a wooden spoon so the vegetables are covered in oil. Cover, and cook for five minutes.
  2. Remove the lid and stir the delicious smelling soffritto again, then start to cook the lamb shanks, adding in one at a time.
  3. Brown the lamb shanks for five minutes on each side, using tongs to turn them over. Turn them once again, making sure they start to change colour and leaving them for another couple of minutes on each side.

VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Keep a close eye on the lamb shanks; they may take less time to brown depending on how hot your pot is.

  1. Add the vegetable stock in once the lamb shanks are golden brown on all sides.
  2. Cover the pot and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Next, remove the lid and add both bottles of passata to the pot. Once empty, add a small amount of water to each bottle then shake to remove all the excess sauce before adding this into the pot.

VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: This slow-cooked lamb shanks recipe will make extra sauce. Freeze it and use it for future recipes!

  1. Season with as much salt and pepper as you like and switch the stove to low heat. 
  2. Stir until well combined, making sure the sauce covers the lamb.
  3. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for three hours; this will make super tender, slow-cooked lamb shanks.
  4. Stir the sauce every 30 minutes and flip the lamb shanks, so they don’t stick until your slow-cooked lamb shanks are ready to eat. 

How to make SLOW COOKED LAMB SHANKS like an Italian

slowcooked lamb shanks

slow cooked lamb shanks vincenzosplate

How to Serve:

Cover the bottom of a serving plate with spoonfuls of the delicious tomato sauce, making sure you get all the delightful, cooked vegetables. Now, for the star of the show, the slow-cooked lamb shanks. Add the moist lamb pieces to the plate and make sure to cover them with even more of the wonderful sauce. 

Garnish with fresh parsley for a pop of green color. Grab some slices of fresh sourdough bread so you can soak up this fantastic sauce or plate it alongside some potato mash.

Don’t forget to save the extra sauce; you can use it for so many recipes. 

italian lamb shanks

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!

vincenzosplate lamb shanks

lamb shanks recipe

Here are 2 more meat recipes you must try:

beef braised

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