Braised Lamb Shanks & Eggplant

3.1 (19)
Braised Lamb Shanks & Eggplant

This slow-cooked lamb and eggplant stew melts in your mouth. Sumac, a lemony-flavored spice, gives the dish a fruity, tangy aroma. Look for it in Mediterranean markets or spice shops. Serve the stew over mashed root vegetables, bulgur or brown rice.

Yield: 4 servings
Active Time: 30
Total Time: 150


  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant (see Tip), peeled
  • 4 12-ounce lamb shanks (about 3 pounds), trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons ground sumac, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 5 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley, divided


  1. Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/2 -inch-wide slices, then crosswise into 1-inch-wide pieces; set aside. Rub lamb shanks with 1 tablespoon sumac, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven (or other 5- to 6-quart pot) over medium-high heat. Add the lamb; cook, turning often, until browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes total. (Don’t overcrowd the pan; brown in batches if necessary.) Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot; add bell pepper, onion, 2 minced garlic cloves and the remaining 1 tablespoon sumac. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Return the lamb to the pot. Stir in the eggplant, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally and turning the shanks over once about halfway through, until the lamb is very tender, about 2 hours.
  4. Remove the lamb to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Increase heat to medium-high and cook the sauce until slightly reduced and thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup parsley.
  5. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup parsley and the remaining garlic in a small bowl.
  6. Serve the lamb and vegetable sauce topped with the parsley-garlic mixture.

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: If you’re using large, common globe eggplant, which can be more bitter than other varieties, salting beforehand can reduce bitterness. To salt: Place prepped eggplant in a large colander over a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon salt. Top the eggplant with a plate weighted down with cans. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour before using. Rinse well with cold water, then dry with paper towels.


Nutrition Per Serving

calories 319
fat 14 g (3 g sat, 8 g mono)
cholesterol 94 mg
carbohydrates 20 g
protein 32 g
fiber 9 g
sodium 812 mg
potassium 1048 mg

Nutrition Bonus Vitamin C (98% daily value), Zinc (57% dv), Potassium & Vitamin A (30% dv), Folate & Iron (22% dv), Magnesium (18% dv)

Carbohydrate Serving 1

Exchanges 2 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

From EatingWell September/October 2011