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Parmesan-Crusted Lamb Shanks

Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Hands-on time 1 hr
Total time 5 hrs

Makes 6 servings

Parmigiano-Reggiano is aged, dry, and crumbly, so it's easy to grate, making it ideal for creating the beautiful and flavorful crust on these truly luscious shanks. If you want to work ahead, prepare the recipe through Step 3; cover and chill. Skim any solid fat off the top, reheat shanks and sauce, and pick back up with Step 4. This very flavorful and tender lamb pairs well with couscous or butternut puree.


  • 6 lamb shanks
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 (10 1/2-oz.) can beef consommé
  • 6 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 (1-inch) orange peel strips
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 cup finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • Garnishes: fresh thyme and rosemary

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Season lamb with salt and black pepper; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Cook 3 shanks in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side. Remove shanks, and repeat procedure with remaining shanks and oil, reserving drippings in Dutch oven.

  2. Cook tomato paste in drippings about 30 seconds or until tomato paste chars slightly. Add wine; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Boil 3 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1/3 cup. Stir in consommé, next 8 ingredients, and 1 cup water. Return shanks to Dutch oven. Place parchment paper directly on shanks; cover with a tight-fitting lid.

  3. Bake at 325° for 3 hours or until meat is very tender and pulls away from bones. Let shanks stand, covered with parchment and lid, in Dutch oven at room temperature 30 minutes.

  4. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a skillet over medium-high heat; add panko, and cook, stirring often, 1 minute or until lightly browned. Toss panko mixture with cheese, thyme, and rosemary. Place mixture in a shallow bowl.

  5. Preheat broiler with oven rack 7 inches from heat. Discard parchment paper from lamb shanks. Remove shanks from Dutch oven, reserving cooking liquid. Dredge each shank in panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Spray shanks lightly with cooking spray, and place on a lightly greased rack in a broiler pan. Broil 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until coating is golden and crisp. Transfer shanks to a platter; cover loosely to keep warm.

  6. Skim fat from cooking liquid, and pour through a wire-mesh strainer into a large saucepan; discard solids. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes or until sauce reduces slightly. Remove from heat. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. butter, and whisk until butter melts and sauce is smooth. Serve sauce with shanks.