Pomegranate Braised & Glazed Lamb Shanks

Busy folks, take note: These shanks can be made ahead.
Pomegranate Braised & Glazed Lamb Shanks

Recipes by Bruce Aidells

The day before serving, follow the instructions through step 3. Cover and refrigerate the shanks separately from the braising liquid and carrots. The next day, gently reheat the braising liquid and carrots, and let the shanks come to room temperature before continuing with the recipe. You can find pomegranate molasses in the international section of your supermarket or in specialty stores.

  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped leek
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped carrots, plus 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. and 2 tsp. pomegranate molasses
  • 8 tbsp. pomegranate juice
  • 5 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh marjoram
  • 5 tsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 4 lamb shanks (4 to 4 1/2 lbs. total)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds


1. In a Dutch oven or large, heavy pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the leek, onion, celery and the chopped carrot; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Stir in the broth, 1/3 cup pomegranate molasses, 6 tbsp. pomegranate juice, 3 tbsp. basil, 2 tbsp. mint, the marjoram, ginger, cumin; season. Add the shanks to the pot, arranging in a single layer with the bones facing up.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, periodically turning the shanks so they cook evenly, until the meat is fork-tender, about 2 hours. Transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet, meaty side up. 

3. Add the large carrot pieces to the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the carrots are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, tilt the pan and spoon some of the fat off the top of the juices. Taste the liquid; if it’s watery, use a slotted spoon to transfer the carrots to a bowl and boil the liquid until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes; return the carrots to the pot and season.

4. Preheat the oven to 450°. Transfer 1/4 cup liquid from the pot to a saucepan with the remaining 2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. pomegranate molasses and remaining 2 tbsp. pomegranate juice. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the glaze coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

5. Brush the shanks with the glaze. Roast until shiny and dark brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Place the shanks, carrots and braising liquid on a platter; drizzle with the remaining glaze. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbsp. basil, remaining 1 tbsp. mint and the pomegranate seeds.