Christie Vanover at Girls Can Grill Australian Smoked Lamb Shanks with Lemon Orzo

  • Prep time 30Min
  • Cook time 4Hr
  • Technique Grill, Pan Fry / Saute
  • Meat Lamb
  • Cut Shank
  • Serves 6

Autumn has its turkey legs, and now summer is set with Australian smoked lamb shanks. Life is better with portable meat on a stick!



  • 4 Australian Lamb Shanks

 For the Lemon Herb Rub:

  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

 For the braising liquid: 

  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano

 For the lemon and herb orzo:

  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup celery, minced
  • 1/2 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped



1. To prep: Using a knife, remove the silverskin from the exterior of the shanks. This will make them more tender. Combine the lemon zest, brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, rosemary, paprika and pepper. Rinse the lamb shanks. Pat dry. Rub evenly with the Lemon Herb Rub. Let rest at room temp while you heat the smoker to 225 degrees F.

2. To cook: Place the lamb shanks on the heated smoker. Smoke until the internal temperature of the lamb reaches 165 degrees F (about 1 1/2 hours). Combine the broth and tomato paste. Pour it into a disposable aluminum pan. Add the garlic, fresh herbs and shanks to the pan. Smoke for 1 1/2 hours. Cover. Smoke for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the lamb reaches 200 degrees F.

3. For the lemon and herb orzo: Cook the orzo in salted boiling water for about 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour the lemon juice mixture into the pasta and stir in the red onion, celery, pepper, mint and oregano. Let rest for 1 hour before serving.

Chef Note: :

Lamb is an extremely popular protein in Australia, but in the states, we're still learning how to introduce it to our meals. These smoked lamb shanks are prepared with familiar flavors like lemon and fresh herbs with a kick of some good ole American smoke. 

See Christie's original recipe on her website, Girls Can Grill.