homemade beer braised lamb shank

Beer-Braised Lamb Shanks

3 hours 45 mins
Vadim Rachok
27.05.2024
27.05.2024
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Egg free dishNut Free Dish

Prepare beer-braised lamb shank, which is a perfect dish for the chilly, dreary days. Fill your summer days with a super hearty and delicious dish! With this easy to prepare beer braised lamb shank recipe, you will get super flavorful and fall-off-the-bone tender meat. What could be better than this classic dish for a family dinner? Serve the lamb shank with mashed potatoes, creamy cauliflower mash, rice, or even some crusty bread for a deliciously complete meal. Below is a step-by-step guide to making this dish right with minimal effort and time.

What is a Beer Braised Lamb Shank?

Beer Braised Lamb is a dish in which lamb legs are slowly simmered in beer, along with a combination of vegetables and aromatic spices. During braising, lamb shank is seared to develop a deep, rich aroma, then simmered in a beer-based liquid until tender and infused with aromas from braising ingredients.

The flavor of a beer braised lamb shank is both robust and complex. The lamb itself is full-bodied and succulent. The braising process tenderizes the meat so that it falls off the bone. The beer adds richness and depth to the flavor. It imparts a slight bitterness that balances the sweetness of the lamb. The dish can have hints of malt, caramel, and hops that enhance the savory meat, depending on the type of beer used. The addition of vegetables and spices to the braising liquid further enhances the overall flavor profile. The result is a hearty and comforting dish.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

recipe for beer braised lamb shan

This recipe for Beer-Braised Lamb Shanks is made with tender lamb shanks that are slow-cooked in a deep, dark broth infused with beer. It’s the best of comfort food. The savory goodness will keep you coming back for more. Aromatic herbs, hearty beer, and lamb that melts in your mouth make for an irresistible dish. 

Ingredients for Beer Braised Lamb Shank

  • Lamb Shank: Lamb shank is the main ingredient of this dish. It is a savory cut of meat that becomes tender and juicy when braised. Its rich, deep flavor is enhanced by the slow cooking process that allows it to absorb the flavors of the braising liquid and the seasonings.
  • Onion: Adds a basic layer of richness and depth to the dish. Onions enhance the overall flavor profile as they caramelize during cooking.
  • Chili Pepper: Adds a touch of heat and complexity to the dish. The heat of the chili pepper enhances the savory flavors of the dish without overpowering them.
  • Garlic: Adds a pungent, aromatic flavor that permeates the dish. Complements the lamb and enhances the overall flavor.
  • Thyme: Complements the lamb and other herbs in the dish with an earthy, slightly minty flavor.
  • Rosemary.: Adds a piney, aromatic flavor that complements the lamb’s richness.
  • Worcester Sauce: Adds depth to the braising liquid with a tangy, umami-rich flavor.
  • Dark Beer: Provides deep, malty flavors to the lamb as a braising liquid. The beer also has a tenderizing effect on the meat during the cooking process.
  • Paprika: Adds a mild, sweet pepper aroma and bright color to the dish.
  • Cumin: Complements lamb and other spices with a warm, earthy flavor.
  • Coriander: Adds a subtle citrus and slightly sweet flavor. Complements the lamb and other spices.
  • Butter: Adds body and helps create a smooth, velvety texture.

Beer Braised Lamb Shank Recipe

  1. First, cut the onion into strips.
  2. Marinate the lamb shanks in a mixture of salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and coriander for 30 minutes. 
  3. Then, place a frying pan on the stove, and add sunflower oil and onions.
  4. Sauté until golden brown (5-6 minutes).
  5. Next, add garlic, thyme, rosemary, chili, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the dark beer, bring to a boil, and simmer for 1.5 minutes.
  7. Pour into a baking dish, place the shank on top, and cover with foil.
  8. Then, place in oven at 266 degrees F (130 degrees C) for 3 hours.
  9. When cooked, purée the sauce in a blender until smooth.
  10. Add cold olive oil and brush the shank with the sauce.
  11. Then, bake at 428 degrees F (220 degrees C) for another 4-5 minutes.
  12. Serve with the sauce. Enjoy!

Chef Recipe Tips:

  • If the lamb is tough, increase the cooking time by another 1-2 hours.
  • You can substitute beer with red wine, or simply cook lamb shank in beef broth without alcohol.
  • You can choose a variety of spices according to your own taste. It can be cinnamon, sumac, anise, cardamom, etc. 
  • The shank can be glazed with honey, soy sauce, or chili paste.

Origin of Beer Braised Lamb Shank

easy recipe for beer braised lamb shan

The origins of the beer braised lamb shank are found in the traditional braising methods that have been used for centuries in a variety of cultures. Braising is a technique that goes back to ancient times and involves the slow cooking of meat in a liquid. In regions where beer was a staple beverage, such as Europe, the use of beer as a braising liquid can be traced.

In general, the dish is closely associated with northern European and British cuisine, where lamb and beer have long been associated. Beer braising was a common cooking method in these regions. It was used to tenderize tougher cuts of meat and infuse them with rich, savory flavors. The tradition of cooking with beer is still celebrated in modern cuisine. Beer-braised lamb shank remains a popular dish, appreciated for its depth of flavor and tender texture.

How to store leftovers

Cooked lamb will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Store the shanks in an airtight container with the sauce or in a separate container. Reheat them together. You can reheat these lamb shanks in the microwave, or you can reheat them in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat or use an ovenproof, lidded saucepan. Bake at 300 F for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Freezing

You can also freeze this braised lamb shank for up to 4-6 months. To reheat, use either the microwave, the stovetop, or the oven method. Oven reheating takes about 30-35 minutes.

How to Serve a Braised Lamb Shank

how to make beer braised lamb shank

Serve each shank individually, on the bone, for an impressive presentation. Also, you can just use a fork to pluck the meat from the bone and arrange it on a platter. Top with gravy and serve. 

You can choose the first approach if you are sure that you can eat all of the meat. Leftover meat makes a delicious gyro when reheated. It can also be added to bean stews or boiled lentils. 

Compatible Side Dishes for Serving with a Braised Lamb Shank

There are so many options for side dishes that I’ve only listed the most popular ones for you:

  • Mashed potatoes or crispy potatoes
  • Roasted root vegetables – rutabagas, sweet potatoes, turnips
  • Roasted cauliflower or cauliflower puree
  • Polenta
  • Couscous
  • Rice pilaf with raisins and/or prunes
  • Roasted chickpeas and diced butternut squash

Beer-Braised Lamb Shanks
Author:Vadim Rachok
Lamb, a classic springtime meat, stars in this comforting dish that's perfect for the chilly, dreary days between winter and spring. Garnish with sliced green onions. Breaking up the cooking time yields a superior texture and flavor but you can also cook the lamb all at once, simmering until fork-tender for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
homemade beer braised lamb shank
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
2
The ingredients you need:
1 pc lamb shank (18-21 ounces (500-600 g))
1 pc onion
1 pc chili pepper
3-4 cloves garlic
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
0,4 ounces (10 g) worcester sauce
10,6 ounces (300 g) dark beer
0,07 ounces (2 g) paprika
0,04 ounces (1 g) cumin
0,04 ounces (1 g) coriander
1,4 ounces (40 g) butter
salt
pepper
sunflower oil for frying
Let’s start !
1

Cut the onion into strips.

2

Marinate the lamb shanks in a mixture of salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and coriander for 30 minutes. 

3

Place a frying pan on the stove, add sunflower oil and onions.

4

Sauté until golden brown (5-6 minutes).

5

Add garlic, thyme, rosemary, chili, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

6

Add the dark beer, bring to a boil, and simmer for 1.5 minutes.

7

Pour into a baking dish, place the shank on top, and cover with foil.

8

Place in oven at 266 degrees F (130 degrees C) for 3 hours.

9

When cooked, purée the sauce in a blender until smooth.

10

Add cold olive oil and brush the shank with the sauce.

11

Bake at 428 degrees F (220 degrees C) for another 4-5 minutes.

12

Serve with the sauce.

Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 2 Calories: 1795
% Daily Value *
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g18%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 82mg27%
Sodium 1363mg59%
Total Carbohydrate 22g8%
Dietary Fiber 4g14%
Total Sugars 7g 
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin C 12mg14%
Calcium 80mg6%
Iron 3mg17%
Potassium 858mg18%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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