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Hearty and Tender Braised Lamb Shanks

For Chef Nick Rabar, Easter dinner is about, “keeping the old flavors and stories alive but also creating those same food memories for my children as my family created for me.” This year, his modern traditional approach will center around braised lamb shanks.

Hopkins lamb shanks
Hopkins Southdowns Farm Fresh Lamb

With Easter on the horizon, now is a great time to look back at the challenges we’ve overcome and to look ahead with hope to the future. This recipe brings together the best of both past and future for a dish that will make memories.

The star of this show is the lamb itself. In Rhode Island, Nick gets his lamb from Hopkins Southdowns Farm, a small family run sheep farm located in North Scituate that breeds some of the most flavorful grass-fed lamb you will ever experience.

Recipe Time: 4 hours
Serves: 6 – 8

  • 4 ea. Lamb Shanks
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/8 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 ea. Leeks, whites only, washed and chopped
  • 3 ea. Celery Stalks, washed, small dice
  • 2 ea. Carrots, peeled, small dice
  • 4 cups Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 ea. Rosemary Sprigs
  • 2 ea. Small cans of Tomato Paste
  • 2 cups Red Wine
  • 4 cups Beef Broth
  • As Needed Salt & Pepper
  • Season shanks with salt and pepper.
  • Roll in all purpose flour to coat.
  • In a cast iron dutch oven, sear shanks in olive oil over medium heat.
  • Once evenly browned, remove and add leeks, celery, carrots, garlic and tomatoes.
  • Cook until all vegetables are lightly caramelized.
  • Add red wine and reduce by half
  • Add tomato paste, beef broth and submerge shanks in liquid.
  • Add water if not fully submerged.
  • Cover and cook in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours or until they fall off the bone.

Nick’s recommended sides: gnocchi, truffles and fresh herbs. Hopefully these braised lamb shanks will be a hit with everyone at your table, at Easter or whenever you serve them.


And speaking of show-stopping sides, this recipe for Gruyere tater tots with chives and prosciutto is sure to knock the socks off of your tastebuds.

Bonus content: Chef Nick reflects on combining the modern and the traditional in the year’s Easter eats.

Chef Nick Rabar and wife Tracy are the founders of two Avenue N American Kitchen restaurants and The Pantry, a small market locally grown and produced products and hand crafted prepared foods. In his 25+ year culinary career, he has received many honors including two James Beard award nominations. Among other media endeavors, Nick is a contributor to the YurView television program Simply Southern New England and to YurView.com.