Traditionally this dish was cooked in local beer made with farmers’ hops and honey from the land, making it a much-loved island classic across the Balearic islands.






Skill level

Average: 2.1 (6 votes)


  • 4 375 g (13 oz) lamb shanks
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp light-flavoured extra-virgin olive oil
  • 150 g (5½ oz) pancetta, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
  • 8 spring onions (scallions), white part only, roughly chopped
  • 330 ml (11 fl oz) bottle strong lager or beer
  • 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Score three or four slits in the flesh of each shank and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) fan-forced.
  3. Heat half the oil in a flameproof casserole dish over high heat, add the lamb shanks and sear on all sides, until golden. Transfer the lamb to a plate and set aside.
  4. Wipe out the pan to remove any remaining stuck-on bits and reduce the heat to medium–high. Add the remaining oil and the pancetta and cook for 4–5 minutes, until beginning to crisp, then add the celery and carrot and cook for 12–15 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, rosemary and spring onion, stir for 2 minutes, then add the beer and simmer until the liquid reduces to a syrup.
  5. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Return the lamb to the pan, cover and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 160°C (320°F) and bake for a further 1½ hours. Increase the temperature back up to 180°C (350°F), remove the lid and cook for a final 30 minutes or until the tops of the shanks colour slightly and the sauce has reduced a little.
  6. Serve the lamb shanks with your favourite purée, such as celeriac, parsnip, cauliflower or good old-fashioned mashed potato and loads of sauce, and wash it all down with a nice cold beer.


Recipes and images from Islas: Food of the Spanish Islands by Emma Warren, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99