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Armenian-Style Lamb Shanks with Barley Risotto

Armenian-Style Lamb Shanks with Barley Risotto

By Chef Bonnie Morales

Diversify your recipe portfolio with this spiced up lamb dish. Pomegranate molasses, mixed with the perfect amount of spice, elevate this lamb to new heights.

Prep Time

20 Min

Cook Time

8 Hr




This recipe serves:


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Units of Measurement:
2 Tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses
1/4 Cup tomato paste
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Ground fenugreek
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
1 Teaspoon ground cayenne
1 Teaspoon Ground turmeric
3 Tablespoon Salt, plus 2 tsp
4 Lamb Hind Shanks
3 Quart Lamb or beef stock, plus more if needed
2 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 Medium yellow onion, diced small
1 Cup pearled barley
1/2 Cup Parmigiano Reggiano
2 Tablespoon butter
As Needed Salt


  • 1

    In a small bowl, combine the pomegranate molasses, tomato paste, garlic powder, cinnamon, fenugreek, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, and 1 tablespoon of salt. Mix until the mixture turns into a uniform paste.

  • 2

    Prepare the lamb shanks by removing any silver skin and large tendons. Evenly rub 1/4 of the spice paste on each shank and place shanks in refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.

  • 3

    When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 350°F and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes.

    350 ˚F / 177 ˚C

  • 4

    In a large cast iron skillet or any oven proof vessel, add the lamb shanks and cover halfway with lamb stock.

  • 5

    Place the skillet on the grill grates. Close the lid and cook for 7-8 hours turning shanks over every hour. Add more lamb stock to skillet as needed. Cook until the meat is tender and beginning to fall away from the bone.


  • 6

    When the lamb is in its last hour of cooking, start the barley risotto. Heat 1 quart of the lamb or beef stock to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • 7

    In a medium pot, heat the olive oil and the add onions and sauté until softened.

  • 8

    Add the barley and toast, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.

  • 9

    Add 1 cup of stock, and 2 tsp of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, on low heat until the barley has fully absorbed the liquid. Repeat this step, adding 1/2 a cup of stock at a time until the barley is completely cooked through.

  • 10

    Add Parmigiano Reggiano, and butter, and stir to incorporate. Taste and add salt, as needed.

  • 11

    Remove the lamb shanks from the grill and serve with barley risotto. Enjoy! This recipe was provided by our friend Chef Bonnie Morales from Kachka. Check out more of her recipes and photos on her Instagram @kachkapdx.

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