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Oregano-braised lamb shanks with broad beans, peas and orzo

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for oregano-braised lamb shanks with broad beans, peas and orzo.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs 20 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Oregano-braised lamb shanks with broad beans, peas and orzo


  • 8 French-trimmed lamb shanks
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 2 lemons, plus extra to taste
  • 3 tsp dried Greek oregano (see note)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 160 ml olive oil (2/3 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 200 ml ml dry white wine
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 fresh oregano sprigs, plus extra leaves to serve
  • 230 gm orzo (see note) (1 cup)
  • 250 gm podded broad beans (about 500gm unpodded)
  • 100 gm podded peas (about 250gm unpodded)


  • 1
    Combine shanks, lemon rind and juice, dried oregano, half the garlic and 120ml oil in a non-reactive container, season to taste, cover and refrigerate to marinate (2-3 hours).
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 150C, and heat a large deep-sided frying pan over medium-high heat. Drain shanks (discard marinade) and cook in batches, turning occasionally, until browned (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a roasting dish large enough to fit lamb in a single layer with a little room to move. Wipe frying pan clean with absorbent paper, add remaining oil, then add celery, onion and remaining garlic. Stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes), then add tomato and stir occasionally until beginning to soften. Deglaze with wine, simmer until reduced by half (4-5 minutes), then add stock, bay leaves and fresh oregano. Bring to the simmer, season to taste and pour over shanks. Cover with foil and braise in oven, turning shanks occasionally, until meat almost falls from the bone (2½-3 hours).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, cook orzo in boiling salted water until half-cooked (4-5 minutes), drain (reserve 125ml pasta water) and set aside.
  • 4
    Remove shanks from pan, and skim fat from surface of liquid. Add broad beans, orzo, peas and reserved pasta water, return shanks to pan and return to oven. Roast, uncovered, until broad beans and peas are just cooked and pasta is tender (4-5 minutes). Season to taste with sea salt, freshly ground pepper, lemon juice and lemon rind and serve hot, scattered with fresh oregano leaves.


Note Greek oregano, also known as rigani, is more aromatic than the dried oregano sold in supermarkets. It's available in dried bunches from Greek delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute dried oregano. Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta similar to risoni; it's available from select delicatessens and supermarkets.