Lamb Shanks Braised in Red Wine

Braised lamb shanks

Brian Leatart/Getty Images

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
694 Calories
36g Fat
16g Carbs
69g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 694
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 240mg 80%
Sodium 444mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 69g
Vitamin C 21mg 103%
Calcium 125mg 10%
Iron 7mg 39%
Potassium 1259mg 27%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Braised lamb shanks are a wonderful dish to make if you love slow-cooked meat that's tender and falls off the bone. Lamb is already tender, but the shanks have a lot of connective tissue in them, and slow cooking breaks it down to give you succulent meat with a rich, flavorful liquid that you can then use for making a luscious sauce.

To make these braised lamb shanks, you'll need a large Dutch oven or brazier—one that's big enough to accommodate the meat and stock, and safe for both stovetop and oven. Make sure it has a tight-fitting lid, too.

You may need cheesecloth for the herbs in this recipe. It's a useful way to add them and remove them to the pot while cooking. Serve these shanks with mashed potatoes or creamy polenta.

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds lamb shanks, about 6 shanks, excess fat removed

  • 1/4 cup canola oil, or vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 cups red wine, divided

  • 5 garlic cloves, slightly crushed

  • 2 medium celery ribs, chopped

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, liquid included

  • 5 cups beef stock, or lamb stock

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 4 sprigs thyme

  • 1 to 2 sprigs rosemary

  • 3 to 4 sprigs parsley

  • 6 whole black peppercorns

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • Mashed potatoes, optional, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F (165 C).

  2. Pat any excess moisture off the lamb shanks with clean paper towels. This will enhance the browning in the next step.

  3. In a heavy, cast-iron Dutch oven or brazier, heat the oil over high heat, then add the lamb shanks, and sear them thoroughly on all sides, using a pair of tongs to turn them. When you've got a nice brown crust on all sides of the meat, remove it from the pan, and set it aside.

  4. Add 1/2 cup of wine and scrape off all the roast-y bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic, celery, carrot, and onion to the pot, and cook for 5 minutes or so, or until the onion is slightly translucent.

  5. Now return the lamb to the pot, and add the diced tomatoes with liquid, the stock, the rest of the wine, and the bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and the peppercorns. (You can tie the peppercorns into a cheesecloth bundle if you like so that you can retrieve them more easily later.) Heat on the stovetop until the liquid comes to a boil then cover with a tight-fitting lid, and transfer the whole thing to the oven.

  6. Cook 3 hours, and turn the shanks once about halfway through. When the lamb is tender and the meat is pulling away from the bone, it's done.

  7. Remove pot from the oven, remove the lamb shanks, and set them aside, covered, while you make the sauce.

  8. You'll see a layer of fat on top of the braising liquid. We're going to use this fat to make a roux for the sauce. Skim off as much fat as you can, and save about 1/4 cup of it. Discard the rest, as it would make the sauce too greasy.

  9. Heat the fat in a separate saucepan, then gradually stir in the flour until a paste forms. Heat for a few minutes, stirring, until the roux is a rich brown color.

  10. Now return the remaining braising liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and whisk in the roux. Reduce for about 15 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve, and season to taste with kosher salt.

  11. Arrange the lamb shanks on a warm plate (atop some mashed potatoes or creamy polenta if you like), sauce generously, and serve right away.