Smoked Lamb Shanks

At the center resides the perfect dog treat

*For those folks who need a reminder on smoking go here.*

Recently I went out on a limb and smoked a couple lamb shanks. Normally I would use a larger and far fattier cut of meat for this, but sometimes you have to use what you have on hand. Not to mention shanks are usually better braised or stewed, but smoking is a slow process so I had some hope.

I made a rub of rosemary, garlic, chili powder, cinnamon and salt. I typically don’t measure, but go by taste. In this case, I was heavier on the rosemary. I used a mop sauce made of balsamic vinegar, white wine, oil, Dijon mustard, rosemary and cayenne pepper sauce. Again, no measurements, but the mop sauce is typically vinegar and wine based. The rub really brought out the flavor of the lamb, but I was disappointed that the mustard really did not help flavor the meat. Next time I may incorporate dry mustard in the rub or mustard seed to the sauce.

Smoked Lamb Shanks

  • 2-4 large lamb shanks
  • 1 ½ cups rub mixture
  • 2 cups mop sauce

At least 6 hours and up to a day ahead before smoking rub dry mixture on shanks. Cover and refrigerate until ½ hour before cooking. Prepare grill to smoke and add meat. Smoke until meat thermometer reads 155-160 degrees at bone, about 3 ½ hours. Apply mop sauce every 20-30 minutes while smoking.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
This entry was posted in Dinner, Food, Lamb, Recipes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to Smoked Lamb Shanks

  1. joshuafagans says:

    My reaction when I saw the post “WHOOOAH.” I think that sums it up. This looks simply awesome!

  2. Caroline says:

    NOMMMM. I’ve never tried lamb before–I just can’t get myself to try it for some reason, but this looks delicious. Cinnamon and rosemary, interesting combo, I love it.

  3. Love, love, love lamb shanks and smoked can only be good. Yours look incredible, well done on photographing them so well with the smoke. What did you pair them with for your meal? :-) Mandy

  4. ChefMom says:

    These look so good! I am stuffed full tonight, but I’d eat these if they were in front of me! Yum!

  5. Bravo Rufus! I wonder what would happen if you brined this for 2-3 days and skipped the salt in the rub?

  6. These look great! And, I love the smoke still rising in the photo.

  7. This is amazing. I checked out the posts on smoking. Have never done this or seen anyone doing it. I know, I´ll bring the olive wood, a couple of pork shanks (that´s what we get here) and the wine and you can be in charge of the smoker!

  8. rsmacaalay says:

    Its not even Chrismas and your posting wonderful dish like this!

  9. I can taste this as we speak! I wish! They look amazing!

  10. Love the flavor combo..and the picture is just WOW

  11. Grace would devour the entire thing! But we might, too, gosh these look fabulous!

  12. SimpleP says:

    My dogs and I are all salivating over the photo. That’s some dramatic smoke! :)

  13. Feeding Time says:

    This looks great. I wish I had the patience for smoking!

  14. Amy B says:

    Wow, those look amazing! I love anything smoked, and I love lamb! I wish I had a grill/smoker.

  15. Charles says:

    Aw – this looks so good. One day when I buy my house in Sweden, a smoker is going to be one of the first things I get. Looks so delicious!

  16. I can almost smell this cooking by just looking at the photo. We used to do a lot of smoking of meat in the past. My smoker collasped and we never bought another. Now, you have me thinking about it again. I used to love to smoke the turkey at Thanksgiving.

  17. Now your talking both my language and my husbands. These look out of this world incredible and I can;t wait to try them. What a wonderful father’s day meal. I love a god smoked meat but never had smoked lamb before so this will be a first! Thanks for another amazing recipe

  18. TasteFood says:

    Wow – I have never thought of smoking lamb shanks (does that sound right?) What a great idea!

  19. JamieAnne says:

    Wow! Beautiful. Great pictures.

  20. Yes. I am joining the ranks who are salivating over this photo. Just wonderful!

  21. Vivek says:

    Lamb shanks are one of my favorite cuts of meat. Smoking is a unique idea. Will have to try this!

  22. ....RaeDi says:

    It is to the point that I want to make everything that you make, these look soooo goood! I love to use mustard powder but even more I love to use roasted mustard seeds, wow they add a nutty flavor and aroma! Sometimes I will crack part of them before using (couple pluses in herb grinder,) but love biting into the whole seeds……You can find here where I roast my mustard seeds here, hope you like….RaeDi

    http://raedi.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/fruity-coleslaw/

  23. eva626 says:

    o0o this looks so cool..and tasty..i didnt like the ones they served us at some resturante …there was too much gravy it just recked the whole presentation..and my hunger!

  24. ChgoJohn says:

    Every year I look at the pros and cons of getting a smoker. Your lamb shanks are definitely in the pros column. They look great!

  25. You are definitely inspiring my husband and I do be more adventurous with our proteins and smoking! WE are both going to read your “how to smoke” post soon because I would LOVE to know how to get that right.

    • This comment almost brought me to tears. It is one of my goals in life to inspire others to be more adventurous with their proteins.:) My wife actually laughs at me after a certain point in the smoking process. I can’t help it if I like to say “smoke permeation” a lot.

  26. myblogject says:

    Fabulous looking recipe. But I do think i’m going to need to check out the smoking post process first.

  27. Tiff says:

    Oh man, that looks awesome. Lambs = cute, but tasty! I wish I trusted my smoking abilities.

  28. priscilla says:

    Those look like they would be great with your grilled polenta. The dog and I are both drooling.

  29. sanjapanja says:

    Yum! Now I’m hungry!

  30. gisellecagli says:

    These look great!! I love lamb!!!

  31. Amanda says:

    Oh wow! Those look absolutely delicious!

  32. Smoked anything is usually my favorite but can you believe I never tried smocked lamb shanks? Time to get some lab shanks and put this recipe to the test.

  33. I have never had lamb shanks, but these look good. The combination of spices for our rub sounds amazing……I bet the cinnamon and rosemary combo made it smell amazing!

  34. I love lamb, this is a way I would have never thought to prepare shanks like this. Awesome idea, it looks great!

  35. Kas says:

    You need to have your own cooking show. Seriously!! And incorporate your pups into it somehow. Which btw, how do they not drive you nuts with the aromas coming from your amazing kitchen?!?!

  36. These look simply amazing! And I was proud of my bleu cheese burgers I grilled last night! : )

  37. safifer says:

    I would not have thought of using lamb shanks to smoke, but if they taste as good as they look in this photograph, they must be awesome!

  38. saminacooks says:

    All I have to say is “WOW!”

  39. The Wookie says:

    Wow that looks good!

  40. ....RaeDi says:

    WOW! This looks incredible! I took a few days off to play in the sun, I have enjoyed all your posts! Very talented, to say the least….RaeDi

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  42. Going to try this for my 4th of July food!

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  45. safifer says:

    Wonderful Independence smoked lamb (and goat) shanks. I added a healthy dollop of Colman’s mustard powder to my rub and it definitely added some spice and zing!

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  47. safifer says:

    Since you were inspired enough to smoke shanks, I have to ask if you’ve tried doing beef tongue?

  48. Krista says:

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post.
    Thanks for supplying these details.

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