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December 1, 2012

Winter BBQ – Lamb Shanks

by BBQ Insanity
lamb shanks after 2 hours smoking

Here’s a winter warmer.  Lamb shanks cooked low and slow on the Weber Smokey Mountain.  This is a modified version of a recipe from Ray Lampe’s excellent book “Dr BBQ’s Big-Time barbecue cookbook”.  It’s a great little book with lots of good recipes.  A full review will be coming to this site soon!


4 Lamb shanks

Barbecue seasoning

Can of chopped tomatoes

1 onion chopped

8 cloves of garlic chopped

tbsp ground black pepper



Heat a barbecue smoker to 250 F.  This is not a grilling recipe, It’s a 5 hour cook, so I used my Weber Smokey Mountain. Specially designed for low and slow cooking, it cooks meat indirectly and maintains a decent cooking temperature for up to 10 hours!

Rub the BBQ seasoning into the lamb shanks.  Be generous.  While Ray uses his “Big Time herb rub” (recipe can be found in his book), I just used some BBQ spice mix I found in the cupboard.  I think it was some left over “Magic Dust” from a Mike Mills recipe.  Any BBQ spice mix should work great with this recipe.

Put the lamb shanks onto the barbecue.  The first stage is to smoke the meat.  I used Pecan wood to smoke, but Apple would also lend a nice smokey flavour to this dish.   Let the lamb shanks smoke for 2 hours uncovered.

In the mean time mix the chopped onion & garlic with the chopped tomato and add the pepper.  Mix well and set aside.

After two hours, take the lamb shanks out of the barbecue, and put them onto a disposable aluminium tray.  Pour the tomato sauce over them, and cover with aluminium foil.  Return to the cooker, check the temperature and bring it back up to 250 F if required.  Cook for a further 3 hours, after which time the meat will be cooked and deliciously tender!

As I was cooking this in December, I did find that it was quite hard to keep the barbecue smoker to a consistent temperature up around 250 F.  The hottest it reached was 265 F, but tended to drop towards 240 F so I did need to replenish the charcoal to keep the temperature up midway through the cook.

Results were fantastic.  A smokey BBQ taste from the meat, falling off the bone.  Served with rice and corn on the cob.  This dish was even tastier the next day, when I heated up the two remaining lamb shanks in the microwave.  This time, I threw in half a jar of capers into the sauce when reheating which added an interesting dimension to the dish and is a variation worth considering.


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