This recipe is one of my all time favourites because it’s big on flavour, delivers foolproof results and always lands compliments.

Despite being easy to make, I really love the richness of flavour which is balanced with the creamy parsnip mash and punch of the orange gremolata. It’s comfort food defined and we make it lots in the cooler months.

When I want to spoil my family and show them how much they mean to me, this is one of the recipes I find myself going to time and time again. Probably because it feels like it’s special and it really is comforting.

If you’re a fan of slow cooked meals give this a go. The lamb falls off the bone and the zesty gremolata cuts through the richness of the meat.

Make it special, set the table and make a spectacle of serving.



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 lamb shanks, french-trimmed
  • 200g pancetta, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 600ml tomato passata (sieved tomatoes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbs good quality balsamic vinegar

For the orange gremolata

  • 1 grated orange zest
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts

For the parsnip mash

  • 4 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup pure thin cream
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat your oven to 170C.
  2. Heat oil in a large casserole over medium heat. In two batches, brown the lamb shanks all over then set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, chop the pancetta in a food processor with the onions, garlic, and rosemary.
  4. Add the chopped mixture to the casserole and cook for 5-6 minutes or until onion is soft.
  5. Add the flour and stir the mixture for a further minute. Stir in the wine, stock, passata, bay leaves, and vinegar.
  6. Return shanks to the dish and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with lid and transfer to the oven for 2 to 2.5 hours until the lamb is very tender.
  7. Meanwhile, chop the ingredients for the orange gremolata together to create a rough mixture.
  8. For the mash, cook parsnips in boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes until tender. Drain and whiz in a food processor with the butter, cream, and nutmeg until smooth. Season to taste.
  9. Sprinkle the orange gremolata over the lamb and serve with the parsnip mash.
Italian Lamb Shanks served oven to table in a Le Creuset French Oven .
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Italian Lamb Shanks
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Justine Murphy

Justine is marketing director and co-owner of Kitchen Warehouse. She loves entertaining and will not refuse a good glass of wine.

One Reply to “Italian Lamb Shanks”

  1. Justine – going through your recipe step by step the ingredients are very interesting I might give it ago. Just wondering instead of put the casserole in the oven this recipe would be a lot quicker for busy mums if you cooked the dish in a pressure cooker? I am a very keen good cook and ran cooking classes for polytechnic for adults in Perth W.A., I look forward to getting a reply from you. Thanks.

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