Slow braised lamb shanks in a delicious, rich red wine sauce is the kind of showstopping comfort food cravings are made of. Perfect for a cozy dinner in and a great alternative for roast lamb at Easter.
Lamb in general is a pretty fail-safe way to someone’s heart but soft, succulent, fall-off-the-bone tender lamb shanks are the ultimate. This recipe calls for a rich red wine gravy for the lamb shanks to braise in, flavored with rosemary, bay, onions, carrots and garlic. All the classics. Use a good quality, full-bodied red wine like Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon for the best end results. I’ve made this with white wine too. It’s equally delicious, the gravy will just be lighter in color.
How to make slow braised lamb shanks
Start by searing the lamb shanks in a large, oven-proof deep pan/pot until well-browned on all sides. In the same pot, saute the onions, carrot, celery, garlic and herbs until soft and fragrant. I like to let the vegetables cook until they are starting to brown to develop as much flavor as possible. Add the wine and stock then cover with a lid and place in a preheated oven. Allow to braise until the lamb shanks are tender and the gravy has reduced. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or polenta.
When are lamb shanks done?
Lamb is safe to eat at 62ºC/145ºF. It will be cooked to medium-rare at that temperature. As lamb shanks are a cut of meat filled with connective tissue, it needs low, slow cooking to break all of that down. Therefore, the temperature of lamb shanks is less important. You will know they are cooked when the meat comes away from the bone easily.
Can I cook lamb shanks in a slow cooker?
Yes, you definitely can. I would still brown them in a pan/skillet before adding to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, depending on the size of the lamb shanks.
What to serve with braised lamb shanks
- Cheesy mashed potatoes
- Maple butter mashed sweet potatoes
- Garlic parmesan mashed potatoes
- Soft polenta
- Steamed rice or pilaf
- Easy sticky lamb ribs
- Slow roasted Greek lamb
- Lamb ragu with cauliflower gnocchi
- Irish lamb stew
- Easy lemon-garlic lamb chops
Slow braised lamb shanks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 lamb shanks
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 large carrots peeled and finely chopped
- 2 celery ribs/sticks finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1½ cups red wine
- 2 cups lamb/beef stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 160ºC/320ºF.
- Season the lamb shanks generously with salt and pepper. Brown the lamb shanks in a large, deep oven-proof pot/pan until well-browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, fry the onion, carrot, celery and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add the herbs and tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds before adding the red wine and stock. Allow to come to a simmer then add the lamb shanks back into the sauce.
- Cover with a lid and place in the oven. Allow to braise slowly for 2-3 hours until the lamb is soft and succulent. Check on the lamb shanks half-way through cooking and add more stock if necessary.
- Remove from the oven and serve.