slow cooked lamb shank ragu

This is one of my favourite ways to prepare lamb shanks. Where slow braised whole lamb shanks require 1-2 per serve, I can make a rich, delicious and filling family meal with three large shanks alone. You don’t need a lot of meat to make a meaty, robust dish!

This is a wonderful recipe to cook on a chilly Winter afternoon, and by the time everyone is home and ready for dinner, the house will have filled with the wonderful scent of the rich ragu. This sauce will feed 4-6 people.


3 lamb shanks, split into 2 or 3 pieces if your butcher is helpful
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
5 ribs of celery
3 carrots
1 tin whole peeled tomatoes
4 tablespoons tomato paste
500mls beef or chicken stock
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

To Serve

500-750 grams of pasta (4-6 people)
Grated parmesan cheese


  1. Finely dice onion, celery and carrots and finely chop garlic.
  2. In a Dutch oven or heavy based pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Brown the lamb shanks all over until caramelised. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  3. Sauté the onion, celery and carrots in the same pot for 10 minutes or until onion is becoming translucent.
  4. Add the garlic and cook a further 5 minutes.
  5. Stir through the tomato paste and cook out for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the whole peeled tomatoes and stock and stir through to combine.
  7. Return the lamb shanks to the pot and press into the mixture so they are submerged.
  8. Place the lid on the pot and cook for 3-3.5 hours until the meat is easily falling off the bones.
  9. Remove the bones and shred the meat with 2 forks, returning the meat to the pot. Cook an additional 15 minutes while you cook the pasta and grate the cheese.

Freezer notes

Cooked ragu can be frozen for up to 2 months and will last for a week in the fridge.

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