Garlic Lovers' Greek Lamb Shanks

Total Time
2hrs 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs

Being part Greek, I adore the flavor of lamb shanks with mint and oregano, rather than rosemary. Being lazy, I prefer this recipe to the more time- and work-intensive leg of lamb. This is a fairly rich dish that's easier than it looks, and is perfectly suited to cooler weather and cooks who are watching their budgets (lamb shanks are much less expensive than legs of lamb, freeze well, and you can easily double or triple the recipe). We like this with a tangy green salad with a simple lemon, garlic, and olive oil dressing, crusty bread, red wine, and maybe a side of pasta with parmesan or mizithra (greek grating) cheese if we're really hungry. Opa!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Trim most visible fat from shanks.
  2. Cut slits 1/2" wide and deep all over shanks, as many as possible.
  3. Stuff garlic cloves into slits, lengthening or deepening them as needed.
  4. Drizzle or rub extra virgin olive oil over shanks, trying to get the oil into the slits with the garlic.
  5. (Recipe may be made in advance to this point. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day) Put shanks in a broiler-safe pan (I use a low rack in a pyrex dish) and broil on both sides until meat sizzles and browns, about 6- 7 minutes per side.
  6. Remove shanks from oven, and turn it down to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Pour red wine over shanks, and distribute 1 T each mint and oregano over both sides of each shank.
  8. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  9. Cover pan with aluminum foil, return to oven, and bake for approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours, basting every 40 minutes or so.
  10. When done, you can pour drippings into small pan and boil until slightly thickened while lamb rests, to serve alongside.
Most Helpful

These were sticky and gooey and gorgeous. Needed a cloth to eat them with. I loved the garlicky flavour, and used fresh instead of dried herbs. The reduced juices made the most delicious sauce as well. Thanks for a fantastic recipe.

JustJanS November 14, 2002

WOW!! We love garlic and Greek food. This really hit the spot. I inserted the garlic and rubbed the olive oil and then refrigerated over night. Full of flavor and very easy to prepare. Thanks so much BethT for sharing this recipe. :-)

Merlot November 11, 2002

This was an excellant recipe!!!! I will definitely make this again. Next time I am going to stuff the garlic and let it refrigerate overnight.

charlie ponton March 02, 2003