My Best Ever Lamb Shank Recipe

There are eleven other lamb shank recipes here on the blog. Some are better than others. Some would qualify as really excellent in any cook book. However, this one is the best. It excels in flavour, texture, simplicity and most importantly, the Wife says it’s the best I have ever cooked. And we all know, what she says goes. With not a little pride, I present Soy Braised Lamb Shanks with Creamed Parsnip and Garlic Purée.

Looking back over my Indian Spiced Lamb Shanks and my Lamb Shanks Marrakesh gave me pause for thought as they are two top dishes. But, in truth, they don’t even come close to the eventual balance and punch of flavour that is delivered here. It’s about this point of the writing that I usually get into the ingredients. So, I won’t disappoint on that score. 

Ingredients (for two)

  • 2 top quality lamb shanks
  • 2 onions
  • 12 slices of ginger root
  • 1 bulb of garlic or 3 heads of single clove garlic
  • 250ml (half a pint) of top quality chicken or lamb stock
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 4 tablespoons of top quality light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper
  • 4 or 5 parsnips

Your own choice of butter, cream, milk or whatever to add to the parsnips for creaming. 

The preparation required for this dish is minimal. Quarter the onions, leaving the skins on. Peel the garlic and if using single bulbs like I did, cut them up into eights if using multi clove bulbs, peel and bash with the side of a knife. Slice the ginger. Place these all in a roasting tray. 

Don’t underestimate the flavour in this roasting tray.

Make a bed of the garlic and ginger, on which the lamb shanks can sit. Add the shanks and then season with the pepper, pour on the honey, pour over the soy and pour in the stock. 

It’s really easy to shoot honey on the pour. That’s why I do it.


A good splash of soy brings saltiness and umami to the proceedings.

Cover the tray with a generous cover of aluminium foil, sealing the edges of the tray. Pop this into a 160ºC 320ºF fan oven and forget about it for four and a half hours. When the time is up, take it out of the oven. Remove the foil. Leave it beside the dish. Lift the shanks and the onions into the foil.

Out of the oven and everything looks lovely.

Pick out the garlic pieces and reserve. These will go into the parsnip purée. 

Yes, all the garlic goes into the purée. IT is sweet and delicious after the long cook.

Pour the liquid from the tray into a separator. Pour the fat free sauce into a small saucepan and reduce by half over a medium low heat. While this is doing, place the onions back into the roasting pan and sit the shanks on top.

That sauce is packed with flavour. Don’t waste any of it.

Add a cup of water to the tray and return the dish uncovered to the oven for about 20 minutes. 

Peel the parsnips and cut them up pretty small so they will steam quickly. Steam them until they are cooked. Using a stick blender, purée the parsnips, garlic and butter with milk or cream (I used all three).

Finish the shanks over the cooking time of the parsnips.

Put a generous portion of parsnips into a bowl, place a shank in the middle, pour over an even more generous amount of that sauce. Sprinkle on a few parsley leaves and serve. 

Don’t skimp on the sauce. You won’t regret the generosity.

I can not express in words how balanced, flavoursome, punchy and delicious this dish manages to be. I implore you to try it. If you do, you will love it and I guarantee it will become a firm favourite. For me, I can say with confidence, it is my best ever lamb shank recipe. Do it!

As if you needed proof….

You can find the rest of the lamb shank recipes along with many other lovely Irish lamb delights here.

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Latest comments
  • I am supposed to be watching the big screen in my bedroom – ‘British Masterchef – the Professionals’ ! It seems I am seeing the Irish equivalent on the small screen – in this case very happy about it. Love your recipe in which each and every ingredient is doing its job . . . I can taste it and will have a hard time waiting for the lamb shanks to arrive . . . and some lamb I want for the stock I would love to use ! You always give us just that tad ‘Conor’ . . . like that wee bit of soy . . . shall get back with the rave in a week or two ! . . . best . . .

  • This does look heavenly, Conor. And I love the simplicity. I can see why it took first prize although it certainly had some stiff competition.

  • A perfect cook! I love the combination of the sweet and salty on the shank. Your sauce looks so rich and full of flavor. I have this one tagged and will try it soon. Thanks for sharing…

  • The Husband will lick his plate clean… I’ve tried to stop this practice over the years to no avail, and have finally come to regard it as an accolade, of sorts. This recipe will definitely result in gravy all over his face and a disappointed dog, who normally performs the ‘pre-wash’ function. Somehow, the dog has retained his figure, whilst ours are a fading memory….

      • I must point out that personally I only wear gravy on my apron, it’s the husband who wears it on his face. I must work on getting the dog to wash the Husband’s face as well as his plate….

  • It will be cooked, likely this coming weekend. Have a great Feast of Saint Patrick…

  • Looks so delicious, curious about it’s taste.

  • we don’t eat lamb but the flavours here sound so delicious! and it looks wonderful.

  • Before spring arrives I will give this recipe a try. It looks amazing !

  • OMG, I fixed 11 of these for guests last night – we were all blown away. Amazing depth of flavours and richness of sauce!!! Thank you Conor for another great recipe.

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