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Braised Lamb Shank Minestra

Scott Duncan, ©2017
Hearty beans and greens accent earthy lamb shanks for a great family meal.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Course Entree
Cuisine Italian


  • 2 lamb shanks about 1 lb. each
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 T finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 C water
  • 2 15 oz. cans of cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb hearty greens cleaned and chopped
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil optional
  • Grated parmesan cheese optional


  • Preheat large Dutch oven over medium high heat.
  • Salt and pepper lamb shanks to taste.
  • Add 4 T olive oil to Dutch oven and sear lamb shanks 5-6 minutes per side until browned.
  • Add onion and carrots.
  • Sauté 5-6 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  • Add garlic, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper to taste.
  • Sauté 1-2 minutes. Add enough water to cover ¾ of the lamb shanks.
  • Add bay leaf, rosemary, and thyme sprigs.
  • Bring to boil, cover, and reduce to simmer.
  • Simmer for 1 ½ - 2 hours.
  • Remove lamb shanks and reserve.
  • Remove thyme stems and bay leaf, then discard.
  • Add cannellini beans and bring to boil.
  • Stir in greens and cook until wilted.
  • Adjust seasoning as desired.
  • Remove from heat and add red wine vinegar.
  • Return meat to the pot to serve.
  • Top with extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese, if desired.


Note: Removing lamb from the bone before returning to pot will make for easier serving.