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Disclosure: Aussie Beef & Lamb sponsored this post. Opinions are my own.

lamb shanks setting on a bed of orzo on a wooden round platter

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.

lamb shank smoking on grill

This recipe starts with a traditional smoke. The shanks are rubbed with my custom blend of spices, until they reach an internal temperature of 165F degrees.

aluminum pan with 4 lamb shanks, broth and herbs

They’re finished with a braising technique, using a combination of beef broth, tomato paste and fresh herbs and garlic. This helps break down the meat even further, locking in lots of herbaceous juiciness.

pulled lamb shank on top of orzo
4.46 from 50 votes

Australian Smoked Lamb Shanks with Lemon Orzo

Autumn has its turkey legs, and now summer is set with Australian smoked lamb shanks. Life is better with portable meat on a stick.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 4 Australian Lamb Shanks

Lemon Herb Rub

  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsps sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Braising Liquid

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

Lemon and Herb Orzo

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


  • 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 225F degrees.
  • Place the lamb shanks on the heated smoker. Smoke until the internal temperature of the lamb reaches 165F degrees (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 200F degrees.

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.


Calories: 596kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 48gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 2158mgPotassium: 749mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 480IUVitamin C: 9.3mgCalcium: 93mgIron: 5.7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @girlscangrill

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christie vanover standing against wood wall.

Hey BBQ Family

Hi. I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and have dozens of top ten category finishes. People know me as the girl who is forever hovering over a grill, smoker or campfire with tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Could not find good comprehensive lamb shanks on bbq smoker recipe so this is an mix of all I found. Bottom line is can’t go wrong with lots of Tyne, lots of Rosemary, lots of (and I mean a lot of) fresh garlic). Marinate for at least 2 hrs, Warm meat to room temp 1 hr before cooking, and Slllooowww cooking at 220 to 230F for about 3 hrs. Can put water pan below shanks for cooking and cook veggies belo, but keep moisture on shanks high while cooking.

    Cook rice separately, lamb on rice. Good!.

  2. Timing was way out! After 5 hours only got internal temp of 77! Smoker was at 225 as per recipe. Won’t be doing this again

  3. This is a great recipe conceptually but I have to agree the cook time is way off. I cooked per the recipe and the meat was done and up to temperature but very tough. My cook temp ranged from 210 to 240 so I don’t think that was the issue. I’ll try this again because I love the concept but gonna cook a little lower and a lot slower. The orzo was great I’ll add a bit more lemon juice next time to give it a bit more pop.