My Recipe Box

Lamb Shanks Braised in Red Wine

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Serves six.

  • Make the menu:
    A Winter Bistro Dinner
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 23

I like to use a Merlot in this recipe, but any full-bodied red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon, will give the sauce the right deep flavor.

  • 6 lamb shanks, about 1-1/4 lb. each
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. crushed black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken or vegetable stock  
  • 3 cups dry red wine (about 1 bottle)
  • 2 heads garlic, halved crosswise
  • 4 ribs celery, cut into large dice
  • 4 carrots, cut into large dice
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into about 8 wedges
  • 1 cup thickly sliced mushrooms (about 4)
  • Five 3-inch sprigs fresh rosemary

Heat the oven to 425°F. Season the shanks with salt and pepper. In a large, high-sided ovenproof pot, heat the oil until barely smoking. Sear the shanks in batches on all sides until golden brown.

Put all the shanks in the pot; add the peppercorns, bay leaves, stock, wine, garlic, celery, carrots, onion, and mushrooms. Put the pot in the oven and cook, turning the shanks every 1/2 hour, until the meat is very tender but still on the bone, about 2 hours.

Remove the shanks and some mushrooms and onions and cover them with foil. Strain the braising liquid into a medium saucepan, degrease carefully, and simmer gently until its flavor is intensified and its volume is reduced by about a third. Serve the shanks on top of the white bean purée; ladle the sauce over the lamb. Serve some of the mushrooms and onions on the side.

Make Ahead Tips

You can braise the lamb shanks up to one day ahead of serving. Remove the shanks (and vegetables) from the cooking liquid, and refrigerate both separately. To reheat, remove the fat from the liquid and strain. Put the shanks, the vegetables and the cooking liquid in a covered roasting pan in a 400°F oven for about 20 min.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 360; Fat (g): fat g 16; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 5; Protein (g): protein g 44; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 4; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 540; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 135; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Ben Fink

I have made this recipe with lamb shanks and beef short ribs. With the lamb, I served it with pureed yuca and the beef with pomme dauphines. Some adaptations - I used beef broth in place of chicken stock - and I doubled the recipe to have extra sauce!!! Both times were a HUGE hit!!! I do recommend making the dish one day in advance - it tastes even better - and makes being the party host/ess a lot easier and more fun!

This is a wonderful recipe! It's easier to prepare than many other lamb shank recipies without compromising the end-product.

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