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Honey-Bourbon Braised Lamb Shanks

Prep Time:
30 mins.
Cook Time:
3 hrs. - overnight


 • 6 American Lamb shanks 

• Salt and pepper to taste 

• 2 ounces canola oil 

• 1 rib celery, coarsely chopped 

• 1 small Spanish onion, coarsely chopped 

• 1 carrot, coarsely chopped 

• 1 teaspoon black peppercorns 

• 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme (whole) 

• 1 bay leaf 

• 2 cups bourbon 

• 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock 

• 1 quart lamb or veal demiglace (or beef stock) 

• 1/3 cup honey 

• Wilted greens for serving 


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°F for overnight braising, or 350°F for faster braising. Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan, heat oil; sear shanks on all sides to golden brown. 
  2. Remove to a deep roasting dish. In the same sauté pan, add celery, onion and carrot; sauté until lightly caramelized. Add peppercorns, thyme and bay leaf. 
  3. Deglaze with bourbon; reduce until dry. Add stock and demiglace; bring to a simmer. 
  4. Once simmering, pour over seared lamb shanks. Cover tightly with foil; braise until tender and the meat easily falls from the bone, about 3 hours at 350°F or overnight at 180°F. 
  5. Remove shanks from braising liquid; strain liquid and discard solids. Over medium-high heat, reduce braising liquid to au jus or natural juices sauce. Stir in honey and adjust seasoning with bourbon, salt and pepper. Pour hot liquid over shanks. 
  6. Place a warm lamb shank in bowl over wilted greens with braising liquid spooned over top. 

Source: American Lamb Board & Chef/Owner Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Stoic & Genuine, Euclid Hall, Ultreia