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Braised Lamb Shank with Provencal Spices

Driving through the Provencal countryside in the spring is defined by random “slam-on-the-brakes” encounters. Between arresting seas of red poppies and flocks of sheep and goats in the middle of the road (when you least expect it), the season might be telling you to slow down.

Sheep (and goats) in Provence roam the fields in the early spring and late fall, the summer months the herds are transported to higher, cooler ground for grazing. When you order lamb in Provence you can be sure it is local. David’s dish from Cocoa & Lavender is a delicious combination of tender braised lamb and the wild herbs of Provence.

Braised Lamb Shank provencal lamb shanks #TastesofProvence @CocoaandLavender

Provençal Braised Lamb Shank

A delicious slow roasted braised lamb stew with fresh herbs and sweet Hungarian paprika, served over mashed potatoes or creamy polenta.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 people


  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 4 Lamb shanks about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each
  • to taste sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 Carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs Celery diced
  • 1 cup White Wine
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes divided
  • zest of 1 orange
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 sprigs fresh tyme
  • 1 sprig Fresh rosemary
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 cups Chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup oil-cured olives pitted and halved


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Mix flour and paprika on a large, flat plate.
  • Season lamb shanks generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Dredge lamb shanks in flour-paprika and set on a plate.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large paella or other frying pan with a tight-fitting ovenproof cover.
  • When the oil is shimmering and easily coats the bottom of the pan, add the shanks and brown on each side until golden - about 3-5 minutes per side.
  • Remove shanks from the pan and set aside on a plate.
  • Add the mirepoix - onions, carrot, and celery - and sauté for about 5 minutes to soften the vegetables.
  • Add wine, 1 cup crushed tomatoes, and citrus zests to the pan. Stir, and bring to a simmer; cook about 5 minutes, until somewhat thickened.
  • Meanwhile, tie together thyme sprigs, rosemary and bay leaves to make a bouquet garni.
    Bouquet garni @Cocoaandlavender
  • Add to the pan along with the stock. Stir, and bring to a simmer.
  • Add lamb shanks, cover the pan, and place in the oven. Braise (covered) for about 3 hours, turning shanks every half hour, until lamb is completely tender.
  • After 2 1/2 hours, add the pitted olives.
  • After the three hours, remove lamb shanks to a warmed plate and cover with foil.
  • Remove bouquet garni and discard.
  • Bring pan with sauce to a simmer. Skim off as much fat as possible.
  • Add remaining 1 cup crushed tomatoes and reduce heat until sauce thickens.
  • Serve lamb shanks on polenta or mashed potatoes with a good helping of the sauce on top.
  • Serve immediately.


Note: In France, ask your butcher for becquets d'agneau (also known as souris d'agneau)
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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