Make bone tender Sous Vide Lamb Shanks using sous vide cooking, one of our favorite slow-cooking methods for elevating our lamb recipes

Lamb shank on a plate with green beans and mashed potatoes.

Seeking the ultimate tender, fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks?

Our easy sous vide lamb shanks deliver incredible tenderness and rich flavor in one incredible dish, just like our lamb ragu. The sous vide cooking method allows the lamb to cook low and slow, breaking down the collagen into a buttery texture while infusing big flavors into the meat.

We provide the perfect cooking time and temperature along with aromatics like garlic and rosemary so your lamb shanks transform into a melt-in-your-mouth masterpiece. A quick broil at the end caramelizes the exterior for textural contrast. Then, serve this showstopper with a decadent red wine reduction that brings the flavors all together beautifully. Follow our recipe for the most luscious, impressive lamb shanks your guests will be talking about forever!

In this recipe:

Two lamb shanks on a black background.

What Are Sous Vide Lamb Shanks?

The sous vide technique is a game-changer for cooking meat due to its precise and controlled method of preparing food. With sous vide recipes, food, in this case, lamb shanks, are placed in a vacuum seal bag and slow-cooked in a heated water bath at a specific temperature, ensuring an even and consistent result. Similar to a low and slow braise, like with our braised lamb shanks, this allows the meat to cook in a controlled heat so that it becomes fork tender without drying out.

For our lamb shanks, we opted for a 48-hour sous vide water bath at 140 degrees F to achieve unparalleled tenderness and flavor. This low and slow cooking process allows for the breakdown of tough connective tissue, transforming the lamb into a fork-tender meat. This cooking method also works for other tough types of meat like oxtail, or pork shanks, like in pork osso buco.

Sous-vide cooking also retains the natural lamb juices and intensifies the marination process, ensuring that every bite is infused with a rich and unique taste. The extended cooking time of sous vide, combined with the precise temperature control, sets the stage for a dining experience that elevates our lamb shanks to a level of perfection that traditional cooking methods simply can’t match.

Shanks with herbs and spices on a black background.

Sous Vide Lamb Shanks Ingredients

  • Lamb Shanks – we find lamb shanks on sale around the holidays at our local grocery store, or all year long from our favorite places to buy meat online.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic cloves
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon zest 

How to Make These Delicious Lamb Shanks

  • First, get your sous vide water bath ready at 140 degrees F.
  • Now, take those lamb shanks and pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Next, give them a good rubdown with oil, making sure to hit all sides, and then generously season with salt and pepper.
  • Moving on, place the lamb shanks in a vacuum-sealed bag, along with whole cloves of garlic and sprigs of rosemary. Seal those bags up.
  • After sealing, it’s time to take the bag and submerge it in the water bath.
  • Now, let the magic happen—sous vide those sealed lamb shanks for a full 48 hours. It’s a long cooking time, but don’t worry. It’s totally worth it. 
  • When that time is up, take the lamb shanks out of the bags and pat them dry.
  • For the finishing touches, preheat your broiler to high heat. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • Arrange the lamb shanks on the sheet and slide them under the broiler. Don’t forget to rotate them to get that perfect browning on all sides.
  • Last but not least, brush those lamb shanks with a rosemary herb compound butter, sprinkle on some lemon zest, and get ready to savor every bite.

Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips

  • Use a vacuum sealer to remove excess air before cooking sous vide. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer machine, grab a ziplock bag, place the lamb shanks inside, close the bag, leaving only an inch of space open for air, and submerge the bag until the water pushes the air out of the bag. Seal the bag and use it or your sous vide method.
  • Make sure you have enough water in your sous vide container to submerge the plastic bag. A water level that is too low can cause inconsistent cooking. 
  • For additional flavor, we recommend using a grill instead of the broiler. Drop the lamb shanks right over hot coals and char quickly on all sides for added wood smoke flavor and texture.  
Sous vide lamb with mashed potatoes and green beans on a wooden table.

What to Serve With Tender Lamb Shanks

Serve up these fork-tender lamb shanks with some roasted green beans, roasted bacon Brussels sprouts and butternut squash, or some creamy mashed potatoes!

Leftovers & Reheating

Store leftover lamb shanks in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze them for up to 4 months. To do this, we remove the meat from the bone to make it easier to reheat later.

PRO TIP: Before reheating, make sure your lamb shanks come to room temperature. 

To reheat: 

  1. Stovetop: Place lamb shanks in skillet on medium-high heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through or until warm. 
  2. Oven: Bake at 300 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until warm.
  3. Microwave: Heat in 30-second intervals until warm. 
A plate with a sous vide lamb shank, mashed potatoes and green beans on a wooden table.

More Lamb Recipes

If you’re ready to dip your toes into the world of lamb, this recipe is the way to go! The temperature-controlled water bath makes cooking lamb super easy and effortless while still providing a ton of flavor.

Have you tried this recipe? Do us a favor and rate the recipe card with the  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ and drop a comment to help out the next reader.

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Sous Vide Lamb Shanks

5 from 20 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 3 days 25 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total: 3 days 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Lamb shank with mashed potatoes and green beans.
Incredibly tender, fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks made easy with a hands-off sous vide cooking method to transform the tough cut into absolute meltingly tender perfection.

Ingredients  

  • 3 to 4 lbs Lamb Shanks
  • 1 – 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Lemon zest

Instructions 

Prep the Lamb

  • Prep your sous vide water bath for 140 degrees F.
  • Pat the lamb shanks dry with paper towels
  • Rub the shanks on all slides with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Add the lamb shanks to vacuum-seal bags with whole cloves of garlic and springs of rosemary.
  • Seal the bags.

Sous Vide the Lamb Shanks

  • Submerged the sealed bags in the water bath. We use a chain anchor for this.
  • Sous vide the lamb shanks for 48 hours in the water bath.
  • After 48 hours carefully remove the bags from the water.
  • Let the lamb rest, in the bags for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lamb shanks from the bags and pat them dry with paper towels. Discard the garlic and rosemary.

Finish the Lamb and Serve

  • Preheat the broiler to high heat and line a baking sheet with foil.
  • Arrange the lamb shanks on the baking sheet and place them under the broiler to brown.
  • Rotate the shanks every 3 to 5 minutes to brown all sides.
  • Brush the lamb shanks with rosemary herb compound butter and sprinkle with lemon zest to serve.

Notes

  • Buy one shank per person for serving. Although they look big, after they cook there isn’t too much meat on each shank.
  • For additional flavor, we recommend using a grill instead of the broiler. Drop the lamb shanks right over hot coals and char quickly on all sides for added wood smoke flavor and texture.
  • Use a vacuum sealer to remove excess air before cooking sous vide. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer machine, grab a ziplock bag, place the lamb shanks inside, close the bag, leaving only an inch of space open for air, and submerge the bag until the water pushes the air out of the bag. Seal the bag and use it or your sous vide method.
  • Make sure you have enough water in your sous vide container to submerge the plastic bag. A water level that is too low can cause inconsistent cooking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.2g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 692mg | Potassium: 334mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.003g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Author: Kita Roberts

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Recipe FAQs

Where to buy lamb shanks?

Lamb shanks aren’t super popular at most grocery stores, but you can most likely find them at your local butcher. Another great way to purchase lamb shanks is online. Check out trusted places to buy meat online if you’re looking for resources. 

​Why choose the sous vide method?

The sous vide method is a game-changer for cooking tough cuts of meat, like lamb shanks, due to its precise temperature control and extended cooking time. 

Does lamb have a gamey flavor?

Lamb has a mild, earthy flavor, which some may attribute to a gamey taste. However, with proper preparation and flavorful additions like fresh herbs and lemon zest, you’ll get flavorful lamb shanks that are downright addicting. 

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.

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5 from 20 votes (19 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m doing this with venison shanks! Most lamb recipes work well with venison.

    Question: how do you handle the humidity increase when using the sous vide? Even with a covered container an uncomfortable amount of moisture escapes into the house.

    1. oh that is a great question, Mr Wascher. I have to admit, I LOVE the added humidity in the house (and so do my plants). It may be too cold, but if it’s not raining / snowing outside, could you leave the sous vide on a counter near a cracked window?