Smoked lamb shank is a dish that is not only delicious but also easy to make on a pellet smoker. With a little bit of preparation and a few hours of smoking, you can serve up a tender, smoky, and flavorful lamb shank that everyone will love.
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This recipe is perfect for those who want to impress their friends and family with a fancy-looking meal without the need for extensive culinary knowledge. While the smoked lamb shank may seem intimidating, it’s not a complicated recipe to follow.
With a few key pieces of equipment, like a pellet smoker, BBQ tongs, a sharp knife, and a meat thermometer, you can prepare this dish with ease. The dish requires a low and slow cooking method, which makes it a perfect recipe for your next weekend barbecue or special dinner party.
The combination of garlic, black pepper, and salt will enhance the natural flavors of the lamb. The braising liquid, made with beef broth, red wine, onions, and carrots, will keep the meat moist and infuse it with a rich and complex flavor. The end result is a dish that is both savory and tender, with a smoky flavor that comes from the long hours of cooking on the pellet smoker.
So, get ready to impress your guests with this smoked lamb shank recipe. With a few simple steps and some patience, you’ll be rewarded with a delicious and impressive meal that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
Overview: Smoked Lamb Shanks
Here’s an overview to guide you through the steps of this recipe. You’ll have succulent lamb shanks that are fall-off-the-bone tender and bursting with flavor.
- Preheat pellet smoker to 225°F
- Coat lamb shanks with olive oil, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder
- Smoke lamb shanks for 2 hours
- Braise lamb shanks in an aluminum pan covered in foil for another 2 hours
- Let lamb shanks rest in the foil for 20-30 minutes before serving
What Are Lamb Shanks?
Lamb shanks are a flavorful and tender cut of meat that comes from the lower part of the lamb’s leg, just above the knee. This cut is known for its rich, meaty flavor and fall-off-the-bone tenderness when cooked properly.
Compared to other cuts of lamb, the shank is a relatively tough cut with a lot of connective tissue and bone.
This means that it requires longer cooking times at lower temperatures to break down the collagen and achieve the tender texture that it’s known for.
One of the best ways to prepare lamb shanks is to smoke them on a pellet grill. This method allows the meat to slowly cook and infuse with smoky flavor, while also breaking down the connective tissue for that melt-in-your-mouth texture.
How To Make Smoked Lamb Shank
- Preheat Pellet Grill Smoker
Before you begin cooking, preheat your smoker to 225°F. It’s important to have a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process to ensure that the meat is cooked evenly and to perfection.
A pellet smoker is perfect for smoking lamb shanks as it maintains a constant temperature, allowing you to smoke the meat for an extended period of time.
- Prepare Lamb Shanks
Prepare the lamb shanks by trimming excess fat, silver skin, and removing the membrane from the lamb shanks coat. This will help the smoke penetrate through the meat, giving it a great flavor.
- Season Lamb Shanks
Once the lamb shanks are prepared, coat them with olive oil, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. This will add extra flavor to the meat and help it to develop a nice crust during the smoking process.
- Smoke Lamb Shanks
Once the lamb shanks are coated, place them on the pellet smoker and let them smoke for 2 hours uninterrupted. This will allow the meat to absorb the smoke and develop a smoky flavor.
- Prepare Braising Liquid
Prepare a braising liquid by combining beef broth, red wine, chopped onion, and chopped carrots in a bowl. This liquid will add flavor and help to keep the lamb shanks moist in the second half of the cooking process.
- Place Lamb Shanks In Aluminum Pan With Braising Liquid
Once the lamb shanks have smoked for 2 hours, remove them from the smoker and place them in an aluminum pan.
Pour the braising liquid over them and wrap them tightly in aluminum foil. A braised lamb shank will be more tender and juicy.
- Smoke Lamb Shanks
Place the braised lamb shanks back on the smoker/grill grates and smoke for another 2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the lamb shanks reaches 195°F. This will ensure that the meat is fully cooked and tender.
Note: this smoking time is just a guideline, if you have super meaty lamb shanks it might take longer.
- Rest & Serve
Once the lamb shanks are fully cooked, remove them from the smoker and let them rest in the foil for 20-30 minutes before serving. This will allow the meat to absorb any remaining juices and flavors, making it tender and flavorful.
Tips For Smoking Lamb Shanks
Here are a few tips to help make the smoked lamb shank recipe a success.
Use a Meat Thermometer
To ensure that the lamb shanks are cooked to perfection, invest in a meat thermometer. The internal temperature lamb shanks should reach 165°F after the first smoking session and 195°F after braising. This will guarantee that your meat is cooked through and tender.
The type of wood pellets you use can greatly impact the flavor of your lamb shanks. For this recipe, we recommend using a mild-flavored pellet such as hickory or fruitwood for the best flavor.
Let the lamb shanks rest for 20-30 minutes after cooking to let the flavors settle in and the meat absorbs the juices. This will ensure that the meat is juicy and tender when served.
Best Beer To Serve With Smoked Lamb Shanks
Now that we’ve covered the basics of our delicious smoked lamb shank recipe, let’s talk about one of our favorite topics: beer pairings.
When it comes to finding the perfect beer to complement your meal, it can be challenging to know where to start. But fear not, because we’re here to help! Here are the best types of beer to pair with our smoked lamb shank recipe.
The caramel and toffee notes of a Belgian Dubbel are a perfect match for the richness of the lamb shank. The beer’s spicy and fruity flavors, along with its effervescence, will help cut through the dish’s heavy flavors and complement the smoky notes.
A brown ale is another great pairing for lamb shank. With a malty flavor that’s often described as nutty or chocolatey, it will help balance the savory flavors of the lamb while also complementing the sweet flavors of the braising liquid.
An IPA may seem like an unconventional pairing, but hear us out. The hoppy bitterness of an IPA can help cut through the fatty richness of the lamb while also complementing the smoky flavors. Additionally, an IPA’s citrus and piney notes can help bring out the flavors of the braising liquid.
Smoked Lamb Shank
- 4 lamb shanks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp kosher salt
- 4 tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh garlic powder
- 2 cups beef broth
- 4 cups red wine
- 2 white onions (chopped)
- 4 carrots (sliced into rounds)
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- Preheat your pellet smoker to 225°F.
- Prepare lamb shanks by trimming excess fat and silver skin, and removing the membrane
- Coat the lamb shanks with olive oil, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
- Place the lamb shanks on the pellet smoker and smoke for 2 hours, uninterrupted
- Prepare a braising liquid by combining beef broth, red wine, chopped onion, and chopped carrots.
- After 2 hours, remove the shanks from the smoker and place them in an aluminum pan. Pour the braising liquid over them and wrap them tightly in aluminum foil.
- Smoke until the meat's internal temperature reaches 195°F, this should take another 2 hours.
- Remove shanks from the smoker and let them rest in the foil for 20-30 minutes before serving
Smoked Lamb Shank FAQs
A lamb shank is a cut of meat taken from the lower leg of a lamb. It’s a tough, flavorful cut that requires slow cooking to become tender.
Set the pellet smoker to 225°F to smoke the lamb shank.
For this recipe, we recommend using hickory or oak wood pellets for a bold smoky flavor.
Smoke the lamb shank for 2 hours before adding the braising liquid.
Let the lamb shank rest in the foil for 20-30 minutes before serving.
Roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a green salad would all pair well with smoked lamb shank.
While a gas grill can be used, it won’t produce the same smoky flavor as a pellet smoker. If using a gas grill, try adding wood chips to a smoker box to infuse some smoky flavor. Somebody also prefers to use dutch oven to make the recipe.