lamb shanks with figs and ginger

This recipe for braised lamb shanks is nutrient dense, paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP) friendly, delicious and comforting, easy to prepare, and even budget conscious! And with the use of a pressure cooker, what would typically be an all day dish is something you can make after a long day at work. What more could you ask for?

Lamb – It (should be) what’s for dinner!

Lamb is an excellent source of B vitamins (vitamin B12, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid), zinc, phosphorous, selenium, magnesium, potassium, and copper. Plus, if it is grass fed (as most lamb is), it’s beneficial omega 3 fatty acid content is nearly as good as that of fish.

So, we know that lamb is worth including into your diet from time to time, even though it is generally more expensive than other meats. I picked these organic grass fed lamb shanks up at our local grocery store in large part because they were only $6.99 a pound, which is still more than I like spending on meat but a bit cheaper than the ground lamb or boneless leg of lamb and much, much cheaper than the rack of lamb or lamb chops sitting next to it in the refrigerator case.

But then I got them home and had no idea what to do with them, until I started paging through a new addition to my cookbook collection, The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book by Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough.

Written with directions for both stovetop and electric pressure cookers, this massive tome has 500 recipes for everything from breakfast to dessert, including two for lamb shanks. This recipe is my AIP-friendly adaptation of one of those, which I created and tested in my favorite kitchen appliance – the Instant Pot.

Notes for healing diets

Paleo Lamb Shanks Recipe

Lamb Shanks with Ginger and Figs (Pressure Cooker, AIP)
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 servings
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
This is an easy, delicious, and budget friendly way to prepare lamb. AIP-friendly too if you serve it with cauli-rice!
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 12-ounce lamb shanks
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly pole-to-pole
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1½ cups bone broth
  • 10 dried figs, stems cut off and halved lengthwise
  1. Turn Instant Pot on and press "saute" button (or set a 6 quart stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat). When hot, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil.
  2. Place two of the lamb shanks in the pot and brown on all sides, turning occasionally. Transfer to a plate or bowl. Repeat with remaining tablespoon coconut oil and lamb shanks.
  3. Add onion and ginger to empty pot and cook, stirring often, until softened (about 3 minutes).
  4. Stir in the coconut aminos, vinegar, fish sauce, and garlic. Stir in the broth and figs, scraping up any browned bits. Return the shanks and any accumulated juices to the pressure cooker. Make sure the meaty portion of each shank is at least partially submerged in the liquid. Lock lid in place.
  5. If using Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, set the machine to cook at high pressure for 1 hour. OR If using stovetop pressure cooker, raise heat to high and bring the pot to high pressure, then reduce the heat as much as possible while maintaining the pressure and cook for 40 minutes.
  6. If using Instant Pot, turn off the machine, do not allow it to go into keep-warm setting, and let its pressure return to normal naturally for 20-30 minutes. OR If using stovetop pressure cooker, remove the pot from heat and allow its pressure to fall to normal naturally for about 20 minutes.
  7. Unlock and open the cooker. Transfer the shanks to a serving platter. Skim the surface fat from the sauce in the cooker and discard. Ladle the sauce over the shanks.
  8. Serve with white rice or cauli-rice.


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Shared on Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.

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