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Braised lamb shanks are a culinary classic for a reason. The slow-cooking process transforms these tougher cuts of meat into melt-in-your-mouth masterpieces, bathed in a rich and flavorful sauce. This dish is perfect for a comforting weekend meal or an impressive dinner party entrée.


  • 4 lamb shanks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


Prep the Shanks: Pat the lamb shanks dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.

Sear for Flavor: Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Sear the lamb shanks on all sides until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove the shanks from the pot and set aside.

Sauté the Aromatics: Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery to the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.

Deglaze and Build the Braise: Pour in the red wine of your choice (preferably cabernet sauvignon), and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Let the wine simmer for a few minutes, allowing it to reduce slightly. Add the beef broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme leaves, and bay leaves. Stir to combine.

Nestle the Shanks and Braise: Return the lamb shanks to the pot, ensuring they are submerged in the liquid. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and transfer it to a preheated oven at 325°F (163°C). Braise for 2-2 ½ hours, or until the lamb shanks are very tender and falling off the bone.

Thicken the Sauce (Optional): Once the lamb shanks are cooked, remove them from the pot and set them aside. If the sauce is too thin, you can thicken it by simmering it uncovered over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, whisk a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water) into the sauce and simmer until thickened.

Serve and Enjoy: Plate the lamb shanks and spoon the rich sauce over them. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or your favorite side dish.


For extra richness, you can brown the lamb shanks with a sprinkle of flour before searing.

  • A good alternate to cabernet can be shiraz due to its intense and buttery flavor.
  • If you don’t have red wine, you can substitute with beef broth or a combination of broth and red wine vinegar.
  • Feel free to add other vegetables to the pot, such as potatoes, turnips, or pearl onions.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

With its simple yet elegant presentation and incredibly tender meat, braised lamb shanks are sure to become a new favorite in your kitchen. So, fire up the oven, and get ready to savor this delicious dish!