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Photo: Susie Cushner Photo by: Photo: Susie Cushner

Braised Lamb Shanks with Fennel

The fennel is not cooked with the meat and can easily be omitted. Serve with instant couscous.

Real Simple FEBRUARY 2002

  • Yield: Makes 6 servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes
  • Other: 2 Hours, 40 Minutes


  • 3 fennel bulbs, tops trimmed and quartered, ends still attached
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 lamb shanks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 head garlic, peeled (about 15 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped, or three 15-ounce cans, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth


In a roasting pan, toss the fennel, 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Set aside.

Dry the lamb shanks on paper towels and season with the remaining salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Brown the lamb until golden, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (Do in 2 batches if necessary.) Remove the lamb and set aside.

Heat oven to 400° F. Pour off the excess oil from the Dutch oven. Stir in the onion, garlic, and rosemary. Cook 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, broth, and lamb. Cover and bring to a boil. Place in oven.

Cook the lamb until it is fork-tender, about 2 1/2 hours, occasionally basting with the cooking liquid. After 1 hour, place the pan of fennel in the oven and roast until tender. Serve with the pan juices.

KEEP IT: The lamb and fennel can be stored separately in the refrigerator up to 3 days. To freeze (the lamb only; fennel turns mushy when thawed), divide into individual servings with the sauce. Warm in a 375° F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling. The lamb keeps in the freezer up to 3 months.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calcium: 124mg
  • Calories: 547
  • Calories from fat: 0%
  • Carbohydrate: 18g
  • Cholesterol: 159mg
  • Fat: 30g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Iron: 5mg
  • Protein: 46mg
  • Saturated fat: 10g
  • Sodium: 1010mg

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Braised Lamb Shanks with Fennel Recipe