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Already finished this longer February of the leap year, we are getting closer to end of winter (or that’s what I am hoping here in cold and icy Canada). Before the warm temperatures kicks in, it’s a good idea to cook a nice piece of lamb in the oven!

I’ve never done the lamb shanks in oven before, but if I knew it was that easy and that delicious, I would definitely have done it before. They are hot pan seared for crispiness and baked for 2 hours in conventional oven for high level of tenderness. The results was incredibly satisfying. Crispy outside, since, juicy and tender inside. Traditionally it’s served with orzo, but I’ve served it on the bed of another traditional delice, pilaf of bulgur, and added some onions and tomato paste to enrich the flavours and colors.

Lamb shanks served with bulgur rice pilaf

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
  • Print


  • 2 lamb shanks (Around 500 gr)
  • 1 cup of bulgur rice
  • 1.5 cup of bulgur rice
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 table spoon of butter
  • 1 table spoon of tomato paste
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Sear the lamb shanks on a hot pan with some olive oil. Heat the oven to 390 oF. Place the lamb shanks on an oven paper placed pyrex and cover the lamb chunks with the paper – you will have them cook inside of the paper. For a better closure, you can place a piece of aluminum folio on top. Bake them around 1.5 to 2 hours, until they become highly tender.
  2. For the bulgur rice, melt the butter on a medium sized sauce pan on medium heat and add the tomato paste and blend them together. Add the onions and sauté them until they are transparent.
  3. Add the bulgur rice, mix them with butter and tomato sauce, and stir them for couple minutes on the medium heat. Add salt and pepper as desired. Add the cold water on top, once the water start boiling, decrease the heat to minimum and cook around 15 minutes with the lid close. Check every 5 minutes to be sure there is enough water. If not, add some hot water. Once it’s cooked, do not open the lid, and leave it to rest at least another 15 minutes.
  4. Serve the rice and place the lamb shanks on top. Enjoy!

Wine Pairing

I paired this dish with a glass of Carmenère from Aconcagua Valley of Chile, vintage 2016. It was aged in French oak barrels during 12 months. This special valley, although one of the warmest growing conditions of Chile on the valley floor, but it is narrow enough to receive cooling effect of both Pacific Ocean and Andes Mountains.

The wine poured into the glass with its dark violet color and conquered my nose with its rich aromas of ripe blackberries, plums, a touch of cocoa and paprika. Behind, I could slightly smell that typical green pepper and herb aroma of Carmenère, it’s personal but I enjoyed how it blended in with the bouquet of the wine. On the palate, its tannins and alcohol, balanced with refreshing acidity made it a very good companion of this soft and juicy piece of lamb which was cooked to perfection.



All images © 2020 by Neslihan IVIT. All rights reserved.

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