These Wine Braised Lamb Shanks are so deliciously tender, they melt right off the bone. Serve them with the rich, velvety, perfectly seasoned red wine sauce for a truly deep and comforting family dinner.
This Easy Lamb Shank Recipe is Pure Comfort Food
There’s certain flavor combos that just do it for me. Some are comforting, some are delicate, and others are bold. My favorite bold flavor combo is – mushrooms, dry red wine, and fresh rosemary. This combo is so aromatic and flavorful, it’s hard not to love.
The red wine, mushroom, and rosemary flavor combo is absolutely perfect for braising! Also perfect for braising – lamb shanks! If you’re unfamiliar with braising, this is when you cook a somewhat tougher cut of meat in liquid low and slow. Low and slow could mean 3 hours in a 250F oven. This recipe is more of a quick braise for those who might have a bit less time but still want all that braised flavor! All you’ll need to do is a bit of slicing, searing, and then the oven does all the rest!
What is Lamb Shank?
The shank is the cut of meat taken from the lower section of the lamb’s legs. Lamb shank has an ultra thin layer of fat and is leaner than the sirloin cut. The shank is also, comparatively, less expensive than other cuts of lamb.
The meat of the lamb shank can be tough because it has lots of connective tissue – but this also brings the flavor. Lamb shank is perfect for slow cooking, and especially braising! When braised just right, the meat will melt away from the bone in a uniquely delicious and flavorful meal experience.
This recipe is full of hearty, earthy flavors and ingredients. The flavors are powerful but really sing together.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- olive oil
- lamb shanks (each shank should be about 1 to 1-1/4 pound)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- yellow onions
- celery ribs, each rib cut into about 2-inch pieces
- button mushrooms
- cloves garlic
- low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- dry red wine
- fresh rosemary
- fresh thyme
What is the Best Wine to Use?
For this Wine Braised Lamb Shank, I go for a dry red wine. Dry reds have a real richness and depth of flavor that pairs nicely to the meat flavor.
You’re going to want to look for Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Pinot Noir. Steer clear of using a cooking wine. My rule of thumb when choosing a wine for your meal is this – if you wouldn’t drink it, you shouldn’t cook with it! 👍
How to Cook Lamb Shank
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
- Sear: Heat olive oil in a large dutch-oven skillet or a high-sided oven-proof skillet or pot.
- Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper and add them to the hot oil. Make sure oil is hot because you want that immediate sear on the lamb shanks.; sear on all sides until they are browned.
- Remove the lamb shanks from the skillet and set aside.
- Saute: Set the skillet back over medium-high heat and add in the remaining oil.
Add the onions, carrots, celery sticks, mushrooms and garlic to the skillet. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Slowly pour in chicken broth and stir in wine. Stir to loosen all the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Bring the chicken broth and wine to a boil.
- Braise: Place the lamb shanks back inside the pot.
- Put the pot in the preheated oven and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours. Turn the shanks over every 30 to 40 minutes, until the meat is tender and internal temperature registers anywhere between 150˚F and 160˚F. Please use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness.
- Remove: Remove your pot from the oven.
- Remove the shanks from the pot. Set them aside and keep covered.
- Sauce: Simmer the remaining sauce that’s in the skillet over medium heat until thickened to a desired consistency. This should take about 6 to 10 minutes.
- Skim off any additional fat that rises to the surface.
- Taste the sauce for seasonings and adjust it accordingly.
- Serve: Add the lamb shanks back into the pot.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.
The sauce you’ll make with these wine braised lamb shanks is seriously unreal. It is so rich and flavorful. You are going to want every last drop of it. I love to serve this over mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, polenta, or rice. Anything really that can soak in this velvety smooth sauce without overpowering the ultra tender meat.
Also necessary, a crusty loaf of bread for all that sauce sopping you’ll be doing. You can cook up any of your favorite veggie sides if you’d like, but don’t forget it’s already packed with carrots and mushrooms.
A nice big Mediterranean salad served family style alongside these wine braised lamb shanks is perfect!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- When you’re done with dinner, let your leftover braised lamb shank come to room temp. Then, pop it in an airtight container – juices and all – and store it in your fridge for up to 3 days or your freezer for 2 months.
- When you’re ready to reheat, simply place the shank and sauce in a baking dish in a 350˚F oven until it is warm.
More Lamb Recipes
Tools Used in this Recipe
Wine Braised Lamb Shank
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 lamb shanks, each shank should be about 1 to 1-1/4 pound
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2 yellow onions each cut into 4 wedges
- 3 carrots, each cut into about 2-inch pieces
- 3 celery ribs, each rib cut into about 2-inch pieces
- 8 button mushrooms, each cut in half
- 5 cloves garlic, cut in half, lengthwise
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 3 2-inch sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 3-inch sprigs fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large dutch-oven skillet or a high-sided oven-proof skillet or pot.
- Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper and add to hot oil. Make sure oil is hot because you want that immediate sear on the lamb shanks.
- Sear the shanks on all sides until browned.
- Remove lamb shanks from skillet and set aside.
- Set skillet back over medium-high heat and add in remaining oil.
- Add onions, carrots, celery sticks, mushrooms and garlic to the skillet; cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Slowly pour in chicken broth and stir in wine; stir to loosen all the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a boil.
- Place lamb shanks back inside the pot. Add in the fresh herbs.
- Put pot in the preheated oven and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours, turning shanks over every 30 to 40 minutes, until meat is tender and internal temperature registers between 150˚F and 160˚F.
- Remove pot from oven.
- Remove the shanks from the pot; set aside and keep covered.
- Simmer remaining sauce that’s in the skillet over medium heat until thickened to a desired consistency, about 6 to 10 minutes.
- Skim off any additional fat that rises to the surface.
- Taste sauce for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
- Add lamb shanks back into the pot.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and serve over mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, polenta, or rice.