Julia's One-Pot, Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks With Risoni, Feta + Lemon

There’s something incredibly satisfying about a one-pot dinner that is bursting with flavour — and not just because there are fewer dishes to do at the end!

Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s latest one-pot recipe combines slow cooking, risoni (or orzo), melt-in-your-mouth lamb and a generous amount of feta.

Pop a bookmark on this one (or print out our downloadable recipe card below), because you’ll definitely want to make it again!

Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Sarah Hendriks

Julia’s one-pot wonder — slow-cooked lamb shanks with risoni!

The finishing touches!

This dinner is a melt-in-your-mouth crowd-pleaser.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Sarah Hendriks

18th of August 2023

I always love slow-cooking recipes in winter, especially when all of the magic happens in just one pot.

For minimal effort, you are rewarded with a complete meal and in this case, one that can be served straight to the table.

This hearty dish of slow-cooked lamb shanks with risoni is inspired by the Greek dish ‘Youvetsi’. The risoni — or orzo! —is added into the brothy base with the shanks and soaks up all of the amazing flavours.

Topped with feta, lemon zest and fresh oregano, this is a family favourite and real comforting classic in our house.

This dinner is a pot-to-table recipe, also known as no-fuss!

Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks With Risoni, Feta + Lemon

(Serves 4)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 frenched lamb shanks (approximately 1.3 kg)
Sea salt
2 brown onions, halved and sliced
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 cinnamon quill
1 fresh bay leaf
2 sprigs oregano, plus extra to serve
200ml dry white wine
200ml canned crushed tomatoes
1.5 litres chicken stock
250g orzo or risoni
125g Greek feta, crumbled
Zest of a lemon


Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large deep fry pan over a medium-high heat. Season the lamb with a little salt then brown the lamb shanks on all sides. Remove and set aside. Reduce the heat to low-medium and add the onions, garlic and cinnamon. Cook until the onions are soft and beginning to colour (around 10 minutes).

Add the bay leaf, oregano and wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan to lift any brown bits. Simmer for 2-3 minutes then add the tinned tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, return the lamb shanks and reduce the heat to low-medium and cook for 2.5 – 3 hours, or until the lamb is tender.

Scatter in the risoni and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the risoni is al dente, has soaked up most of the liquid and the lamb is falling apart. Season to taste.

Top with the feta, lemon zest and more oregano and serve.

What else I’m cooking: Spring ingredients beginning to appear at the market means lots of fresh peas and broad beans. I love making spring crostini with ricotta, peas and broad beans, or shelling peas, making a stock from the pods and adding it to a risotto with the fresh peas and some pancetta.

What else I’m eating: The soft serve at Di Stasio, Carlton! Served in a green glass coupe, it’s heaven!

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