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.
Easy Lamb Shanks Recipe
Certain flavor combos 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 ideal 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 250˚F oven.
However, this recipe is more of a quick braise for those who might have a bit less time but still want that braised flavor! All you’ll need to do is a bit of slicing and searing, and then the oven does all the rest!
What Are Lamb Shanks?
The shank is the cut of meat taken from the lower section of the lamb’s legs. Lamb shank has a 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 is what brings all that flavor. Lamb shanks are perfect for slow cooking and especially braising! When braised just right, the meat will melt away from the bone in a delicious and flavorful meal experience.
This recipe is full of hearty ingredients. The flavors are robust and perfectly in sync when cooked together.
- olive oil
- lamb shanks: each shank should be about 1 to 1-1/4 pound
- salt and pepper
- yellow onions
- celery ribs: each rib cut into about 2-inch pieces
- button mushrooms
- low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- dry red wine
- fresh rosemary
- fresh thyme
What is the Best Wine to Use?
For these Wine Braised Lamb Shanks, go for a dry red wine. Dry reds have a richness and depth of flavor that pairs nicely with the flavors of the meat. You’ll 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 Shanks
- 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 the 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 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.
Serving Suggestions for Lamb
- The sauce you’ll make with these wine-braised lamb shanks is so tasty; it’s rich and flavorful. You are going to want every last drop of it. I like serving the shanks over mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, polenta, or lemon rice. Anything that can soak in the velvety smooth sauce without overpowering the ultra-tender meat.
- Also necessary is 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 – try my Oven Roasted Vegetables – but don’t forget this recipe is already packed with carrots and mushrooms.
- A nice big Mediterranean bulgur salad served family-style alongside these wine-braised lamb shanks is perfect!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- When you finish dinner, allow the leftovers to come to room temperature. Then, pop it in an airtight container – juices and all – and store it in your fridge for up to 3 days or in 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
Wine Braised Lamb Shanks
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 lamb shanks, each shank should be about 1 to 1-1/4 pound
- salt and fresh ground black 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, like Merlot, Pinot Noir, or Cabernet
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Preheat the 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 the lamb shanks with salt and pepper and add them to the hot oil. Make sure the oil is hot because you want that immediate sear on the lamb shanks.
- Sear the shanks on all sides until browned.
- Remove the shanks from the 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 the pot in the preheated oven and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours, turning the 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 them aside and keep them 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 the 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.
- Lamb Shanks are from the bottom section of the leg just below the lamb’s knee. The meat of the lamb shank can be tough because it has lots of connective tissue, but this is also why they are so flavorful and why lamb shanks are perfect for slow cooking and braising.
- Cooking Time: If your lamb shanks are bigger, they may need extra cooking time. Don’t worry; the longer they cook, the more tender (and delicious) they will be. A safe internal temperature for lamb shanks should register between 150˚F and 160˚F.
- Red Wine: You’ll want to look for Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Pinot Noir. Steer clear of using a cooking wine.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.