Lamb shanks, which is from the part of the lower leg below the knee, are typically done in the oven or slow cooker. This is an adaptation to braised lamb shanks done indoors to give it that extra oomph. Putting the lamb shanks in the smoker really adds an extra layer of taste that only smoke can add. It also adds a beautiful mahogany color to the lamb shanks that you can’t get indoors and looks really appetizing. This recipe takes about 3-4 hours to make.
What about the taste? Some people might argue that lamb is gamey. It is certainly different from other kinds of meat like beef or pork. How can I describe it - the consistency reminded me of pulled pork, has certain flakiness and chewiness to it, but it is very soft. It came right off the bone. The flavor is so much richer than pulled pork because lamb fat is amazing, like buttery nutty. The lamb shanks were really able to absorb all the flavors of the marinade that we made with the vegetables, broth, and wine and it made it extremely flavorful. It was tender and I couldn’t stop eating it!
When I cooked the lamb shanks, we also put in some carrots and canned tomatoes. After being in the smoker with the lamb shanks, the carrots absorbed a lot of the lamb fat and flavor, and they also turned out to be very rich and flavorful.
This a great dish to make if you are having a special meal. We like to do this for Easter as our family gets together and it makes for a very special Easter meal. If you’re having people over for lamb shanks, I recommend 1-1.5 Lamb Shanks per person. You can also add some roasted vegetables, like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and roasted potatoes as sides.
For this recipe, I used FOGO Premium Black Bag because it is perfect for a quick smoking session.
Ingredients (for 4 lamb shanks):
- FOGO Premium Charcoal, the first ingredient. Light with FOGOstarters
- 4 Lamb Shanks (I recommend 1 - 1.5 Lamb Shanks per person)
- 1 TBS Salt
- 1 TBS Pepper
- 2 TBS Cooking Oil
- 1 Large Onion - coarsely chopped
- 1 Large Carrot - cut into thick slices
- 4 Garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cup of broth
- 1 1/2 cup of wine
- Drizzle olive oil in the pan.
- Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper.
- Place the lamb shanks on the pan (I used cast iron, but any pan will be fine) and add the sliced carrots, chopped onion, garlic, canned crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, and the wine.
- Set grill to cook indirect at 300 degrees Fahrenheit and braise lamb shanks until internal temperature hits 200 degrees, This whole cook will take about 3-4 hours.
- Baste the shanks periodically with their own juices to keep adding that flavor and avoid drying them out.
Have you tried smoking lamb shanks? Do you like it, or would have any tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!