Chef’s Recipe – Lamb Shanks with Pecorino Polenta

I love the weekends for many reasons but one of them is I have time to slow cook something delicious and nutritious for my family. And these slow cooked lamb shanks are guaranteed to warm your house, hearts and bellies! Pecorino polenta is the perfect cheesy accompaniment for this dish. You can use an oven proof casserole dish to slow cook the shanks in the oven.  If you don’t have an oven proof dish, you can use a slow cooker or a deep baking dish.


Lamb Shanks

  • 4 x lamb shanks
  • 5 x carrots
  • 3 x sticks of celery
  • 3 x peeled brown onions
  • 6 x thyme sprigs
  • 2 x rosemary sprigs
  • 2 x bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 x bottle of passata
  • 3 x Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 x cup South Australian shiraz

Seasoned flour

  • 1 x cup of plain flour
  • 2 x Tbs paprika
  • 1 x Tbs salt
  • 1/4 Tbs white pepper


  • 1 x cup of polenta (preferably white but yellow can be used too)
  • 1.2L chicken or vegetable stock
  • 100g butter
  • 1 x cup finely grated pecorino cheese (parmigiano, romano, grana pandano or parmesan could also be used)


Preparing and Cooking Lamb Shanks

  • Cut carrot, celery and onion roughly into 2.5cm pieces.
  • Mix flour with salt and spice.
  • Toss lamb shanks in seasoned flour.
  • Heat fry pan, skillet or stove proof casserole dish to a medium heat, add vegetable oil then add lamb shanks (shake off excess flour first).
  • Brown on all sides of the shanks and remove from the pan.
  • Add roughly cut vegetables. Stir and brown the vegetables.
  • Deglaze the pan with a glass of good south Australian shiraz.
  • Put the browned lamb shanks on top of the vegetables and add the passata, salt, white pepper, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary.
  • Bring the sauce to a simmer and cover with lid or alfoil.
  • Cook at 160C for 3-4 hours or until the meat starts to full off the bone.
  • Allow the shanks to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove shanks, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, leaving only the sauce in the pan.
  • Puree the sauce, adjust the seasoning and add back the shanks.


  • Bring stock to the boil and add salt.
  • Whisk the stock and add polenta.
  • Turn the polenta down to a low heat.
  • Stir continuously for 40 minutes.
  • Add white pepper, pecorino cheese, and a knob of butter to finish.
  • Remove polenta from the heat.

To Serve

  • Place one cup of polenta in the middle of a bowl.
  • Place a shank on top.
  • Pour over the sauce then garnish with rosemary.

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