Braised American Lamb Shanks with Creamy Polenta


June 20, 2022

Recipe provided by Home - The Original Dish, courtesy of the American Lamb Board (Braised American Lamb Shanks with Creamy Polenta | American Lamb).

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins


4 1/2 lb American lamb shanks

Kosher salt, as needed

Olive oil, as needed

1 large Shallot, thinly sliced

1 large Onion, diced

4 cloves Garlic, minced

1 tsp Fennel seeds

1 lb Carrots, peeled & diced

1 lb Roma tomatoes, cut into large chunks

1 lb Cherry tomatoes

2 tbsp Tomato paste

1/2 cups Red wine

2 cups Beef broth

4 sprigs Oregano

2 sprigs Rosemary

3 cups water

1 cup Polenta

8 ounces Gouda cheese, shredded

3 tbsp Butter

1 tbsp Honey

1 tbsp Freshly cracked black pepper


Braised Lamb Shanks

1Season the American lamb shanks with a generous pinch of salt on all sides. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Once hot, work in batches to sear the lamb shanks, about 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer the lamb to a plate.

2Add the shallot and onion to the pot. Sauté for about 6 minutes until beginning to caramelize, stirring often. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, and a pinch of salt. Stir well and cook for another minute or so. Add the carrots. Continue to cook for 5 minutes.

3Add the roma tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Stir well and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the red wine and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the beef broth, oregano, and rosemary.

4Add the lamb shanks to the liquid. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Remove the lid and continue to gently simmer for another hour, or until the lamb is fork tender and the sauce has reduced.

5Spoon the creamy polenta (recipe below) into a shallow bowl. Place the lamb shanks onto the polenta. Spoon a generous amount of the tomato sauce over top.

Creamy Polenta

1Add the water and a good pinch of salt to a small Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Pour in the polenta and reduce the heat to low. Cook the polenta for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until thickened.

2Stir in the gouda cheese until melted. Add the butter, honey, and black pepper. Stir well until the butter has melted. Serve immediately.