Lamb shank is a flavorful and tender cut of meat that benefits greatly from slow cooking. Braising the lamb shanks in an aromatic red wine and tomato sauce results in fall-off-the-bone tender meat and a rich, delicious gravy. In this article, I will instruct you how to cook perfect wine-braised lamb shanks right in your own kitchen.
1. How To Cook Lamb Shanks
- 4 lamb shanks, about 1-1.5 pounds each
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup red wine, such as Pinot Noir or Cabernet
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Pat the lamb shanks dry and generously season all over with salt and pepper.
In a large Dutch oven or braising pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the lamb shanks and brown well on all sides, about 8-10 minutes total. Transfer the browned lamb shanks to a plate.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, and thyme sprigs to the pot. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Pour in the red wine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Allow to simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the crushed tomatoes, beef broth, tomato paste, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Return the lamb shanks to the pot along with any accumulated juices from the plate.
Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to the oven. Braise for 2-2.5 hours until the lamb is very tender.
Carefully transfer the lamb shanks to a serving platter. Discard the bay leaf.
Skim any excess fat from the surface of the braising liquid. Puree the sauce using an immersion blender or regular countertop blender. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
Pour the sauce over the lamb shanks. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
Serve braised lamb shanks with sauce ladled over the top along with roasted potatoes or creamy polenta to soak up the delicious braising juices. Enjoy!
Wine-braised lamb shanks are a simple yet impressive dish that’s perfect for entertaining. The melt-in-your-mouth tender lamb paired with the rich red wine tomato sauce is incredible. Follow this step-by-step recipe for foolproof results every time.