Braised Lamb Shanks with Honey Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts

From Chef Keith Luce

2017 Nov/Dec


  • 6 lamb shanks, well trimmed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 2 oz. thick-cut bacon, cut into pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 parsnip, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 stalk of celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3/4 c. tomato paste
  • 2 c. red wine
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 c. beef, veal or lamb stock


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Season the lamb liberally with salt and pepper and allow it to rest for about 1 hour. Brown the lamb, a few pieces at a time, in the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, like an enamel-clad Dutch oven, over medium heat. Once browned on all sides, remove the lamb and reserve.

Drain the excess oil, then brown the bacon and vegetables, except the garlic, over medium heat until golden. Add the garlic cloves and tomato paste and lightly cook, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.

Add the wine to deglaze the pan over medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon to pull up all the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the wine to a glaze. Add the herbs and stock, return to a boil, then add the lamb shanks. Season liberally with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Place the covered pan in the oven for about 2-1/2 to 3 hours until the lamb is fork tender.

Remove the lamb from the pan, reserve and keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid, return to the pan and reduce by half. Return the lamb to the reduced stock, adjust the seasoning and serve with the Brussels sprouts and chestnuts.


Honey Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts

  • 5 oz. pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 30 Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed
  • 12 peeled chestnuts, cut into quarters
  • 2 peeled garlic cloves, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 T. minced shallot
  • 1 c. honey
  • 6 sage leaves, julienned
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 c. chopped fresh Italian parsley


Brown the pancetta in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the butter and brussels sprouts and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the chestnuts and continue to cook until golden. Add the garlic and shallot and sauté for another 3 minutes.

Add the honey and sage and cook gently until the mixture is nicely caramelized.

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, then add the parsley and stir well to incorporate. Serve with the lamb shanks.