Guinness Lamb Shanks


‘ll start by admitting that this is a trusty Jamie O recipe that I’ve adapted. I think quite rightly adapted, by adding a lot more Guinness than his recipe suggests. Seeing as it’s in the title, I felt a good pint minus a few motivating sips should be involved. You can basically slow cook lamb shanks in any liquid with some stock –  ale, cider, wine etc, so this was screaming for the booze.

Jamie O is both the reason I started cooking when I was younger and my constant inspiration. He is my go-to for tasty and reliable recipes when lacking ideas. I also love lamb shank. Forever a crowd pleaser and a winner when cooked slowly. I’ve a number of tasty lamb shank recipes on the blog but February 14th was calling for something with an indulgent difference. If you’ve read last weeks post you’ll know that my lucky date polished off a cleansing Peruvian sea bass cerviche before enrolling in Guinness lamb shank. He had no choice.

What did I get in return you might wonder? Only the luckiest of men would get his own menu I hear you say. And little did I know that a mere 22 hours after serving this Irish inspired delight, that I’d be whisked away on a plane to none other than…Dublin!!! For a surprise weekend away! Only the luckiest of ladies would be treated to such adventures. Too close a coincidence some might say…but little did I know that I’d be standing over Dublin sipping a Guinness in the Guinness factory panoramic bar a day later. Cheers to Dublin and Guinness. Enjoy this recipe.

Serves 4

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • Handful raisins
  • 1 heaped tbsp red onion marmalade
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 can Guinness
  • Few sticks rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
  • 1 litre hot beef/lamb stock

Mint oil

  • Bunch fresh mint, leaves picked
  • 1 lemon
  • Good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. 
  2. Heat a large casserole dish, large enough to hold the lamb shanks, on the hob on a medium heat and add a splash of oil. Seasons the shanks then brown them to caramelise the edges and develop some flavour. Do this for 5-8 minutes or so, just to brown the main end and sides, don’t be too fussy, it’ll brown fully later. Set aside on a plate.
  3. Add a touch more oil to the casserole and reduce the heat to gently soften the onions for about 8 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add the rosemary and stir to combine. Season.
  5. Add the marmalade, raisins, ketchup and W sauce and stir to combine. Turn the heat up a touch and add the Guinness.
  6. Add the lamb shanks back to the pan and top up with enough stock to bring the liquid about 1/2 way up the sides so its submerged but not drowning. 
  7. Now you can leave it alone in the oven with a lid on. Leave to cook for about 2 hours. After this time, remove the lid and increase the temperature to 180°C. This will enable the juices to reduce and the mixture to thicken. Leave this for about an hour but after it has been in for 2 & 1/2 hours in total, its really up to you and your timings. I left mine for about 3 hours total and really reduced and thickened the sauce and browned the shanks to a dark ale colour. You can play with the temperature to achieve your style. Careful not to dry the sauce though.
  8. Once cooked, remove from the oven. Serve with creamy mash, polenta, creamy beans and leeks or whatever your heart desires. Top with mint oil.

Mint oil

  1. bash the min leaves in a pestle and mortar with some flaky salt. Add a very small touch of oil and mash until the desired consistency.
  2. You don’t want to add too much oil and lamb is notoriously oil and fatty so this should freshen rather than cloy the pallet.