Slow Braised Pomegranate Lamb Shanks

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These intensely flavorful lamb shanks are slow braised in orange juice and pomegranate syrup. The recipe can be made for a special dinner for two or can be expanded for a large dinner party.


  • Olive oil
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice (don’t use cheap concentrated oj for this recipe)
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 T butter or ghee (optional)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds for garnish
  • Chopped parsley for garnish


  1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Rub the shanks with a bit of olive oil and season the lamb chops with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Heat a large heavy bottomed pan such as a Le Creuset Dutch oven, and when it is hot add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the lamb shanks and sear the lamb on all sides. Make sure you do not overcrowd the pot while you sear or the meat will steam and not sear properly. Sear in batches if need be. 
  2. Remove the shanks and set aside to rest on a plate. Add the onion and briefly cook until onion begins to color. Add orange juice, pomegranate molasses, brown sugar and a cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil and add the lamb shanks, turning so they are well coated with the sauce. The shanks should be in a single layer. Bring back to a boil and remove from the stove top. Cover with a lid and place in the oven. Cook for 2 hours until the lamb is fork tender. The time may vary a bit depending on the size of your shanks. 
  3. Remove the shanks from the pot and place on a platter. Cover with foil while you make the sauce. Strain the cooking liquid through a mesh strainer into a large measuring cup. Ladle off any excess oil that floats to the top. Return the strained liquid to the pan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the sauce is reduced and thickened, stirring periodically. An option is to add a bit of butter to the sauce. It is nice, but it is not imperative. If you do, remove the thickened sauce from the heat and whisk in 1-2 tablespoons of butter. 
  4. Spoon the sauce over the lamb shanks and garnish with pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley. 

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