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Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks Recipe, Food Gypsy

Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks

This recipe is probably easier than you think. Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks uses passive cooking and common pantry ingredients to make a rustic, yet stunning meal that will make you the hit of any family gathering or dinner party.

We may not be entertaining as much, or at all, these days.  But aren’t we special enough to make a beautiful meal for ourselves? I think so.  Even if it’s just the two of us, I love making special Date Night or Sunday Dinners this is one of my favourite go-to recipes, time after time.

Ease Is Not Rated Highly Enough

Great food really doesn’t have to be complicated.  It might take time.  It may involve a measure of patience and skill, but it doesn’t need to be difficult.  Some of the best food anywhere is simple food.  Meals that require few ingredients.  Recipes that take advantage of inexpensive or seasonally plentiful ingredients and kitchen staples are recipes worth mastering.  Simple food, done well, is the basis of good cuisine.

Enter the recipe for Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks.  Outside of the purchase of the lamb shanks themselves, this recipe uses just: onion, garlic, beef stock, thyme, bay leaf, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and red wine.

That’s it. Humble ingredients and a good solid, heavy oven-proof pot can take you to whole new heights of kitchen mastery. the key lies in HOW you use what you’ve got.  Let easy cooking be your new kitchen companion and take all the stress out of meal making, big or small.

From My Kitchen, To Your Kitchen

When I’m planning a recipe or post here on Food Gypsy I often consider what I might make if you were coming to dinner. Or if I had a little dream cafe, with selective comfortable seating, thick wood tables, mismatched colourful artwork packing the place, floor to ceiling (as they likely would), and irresistible smells wafting from the kitchen.

There might be wine. There most certainly would be eclectic music and animated conversations and, if you asked, I would probably give you more than just the recipe! Next thing you know you’d find yourself, apron on, in that kitchen for a little impromptu step-by-step cooking demonstration… and a bit of fun. So I made a little video so we could do just that!


Braised Red Wine Lamb Shanks. #learntocook #recipe #sizzle #keto #cooking #lamb #tiktokrecipes #foodblogger

♬ A Night Like This – Caro Emerald

Time Is On Your Side

I love braising. It might be my favourite method of cooking, particularly in the cooler weather.  A good braise can reduce even the toughest cut of meat into a buttery, fall-apart beautiful meal.  All it takes is time and a little know-how.

That first step, searing, is key.  A great crust on the outside of your meat, be it lamb shanks, stewing beef, short ribs, pork shoulder, Pork Belly, chicken or turkey thighs, that crust helps to create a layer of flavour that simply cannot be replaced in any other method of cooking.

After the initial fuss, which in the case of this recipe, takes about half an hour; the rest is passive cooking. There’s dinner, just hanging out in the oven doing its own thing, with a timer set while you do something else.  I accomplish a lot this way and still make dinner!  Gardening. Walks. Games with kiddos. Homework. Naps.  Okay, so yeah, mostly naps.

Let time be your friend, my friend.

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Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks

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  • Author: Cori Horton
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Serves 3


An impressive meal fit for easy entertaining, festive celebrations, or a fabulous family meal, Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks is probably a lot easier to make than you think.  Just follow along and you’ll rock this dish, we’ll just let the oven do all the hard work!


Units Scale
  • 1 onion medium, diced
  • 46 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light cooking oil
  • 3 lamb shanks
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 124 oz (796mls) can whole or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375⁰F (190⁰C).  Prep your onion and garlic and reserve. Place Dutch oven (or heavy bottomed, oven proof pot with a tight fitting lid) on the stove on medium-high heat.  When pot is well heated, enough so that a bit of water dripped from your fingers splatters; add a thick slick of cooking oil, approximately 1 – 2 tablespoons.
  2. Dry lamb shanks well with paper towels to remove excess moisture, and season with salt and pepper.  Place lamb shanks in the pot, being careful to avoid splatters, and sear the outside of the meat.  Allow shanks to sear well, to a golden brown, approximately 4 minutes per side.  Watch pot to ensure the oil does not burn. Turn lamb shanks as needed, to complete the process on all sides.
  3. Remove seared shanks from pot and reserve in a nearby bowl, at room temperature.  Pour off excess or burnt oil from pot.  Add cooking oil if necessary to ensure there is still a good amount of oil for your next step; the foundation of your sauce.
  4. Return pot to stove at medium-high heat and add onions, cooking until just barely translucent, then add and sweat your garlic, stirring as needed.
  5. Once onions and garlic are well cooked and combined (smelling TERRIFIC), deglaze your pot with red wine.  Scrape off any remaining golden bits, or suc, on the bottom of the pan. Allow red wine to reduce by about a third, by keeping it at a rapid boil for about three minutes, stirring as needed.
  6. Add beef stock.  If using whole tomatoes, crush lightly by hand before adding to the pot, or ‘cut’ with a spoon once in the pot to ensure they break up well in the sauce. Stir to combine.
  7. While sauce is returning to a boil, add herbs; thyme, bay leaves, and pepper, and stir. DO NOT ADD SALT. Reserve the final seasoning of your sauce until after braising, reduction and thickening.  This will help to ensure the salt dose not overtake your dish, as reducing will serve to concentrate your sauce.
  8. Once liquids have come to a full boil, return lamb shanks to the pot.  Arrange shanks to be mostly covered by liquid.  Place lid on cocotte and put in waiting 375⁰F (190⁰C) oven for 1 hour.
  9. At the one-hour mark, check your sauce level to ensure your meat is mostly covered by liquid.  Add additional beef stock or water if needed.  Using a small knife, test meat for tenderness.  The ideal doneness sees the meat easily penetrated, and tender, but still adhering to the bone.  Unless your lamb shanks are very small, they will probably require an additional 45 minutes – 1 hour of cooking time.
  10. Spoon sauce over shanks, place lid back on, and return to oven for 35 – 45 minutes or until done. Once the tip of a paring knife easily pierces the shanks, on all sides, remove shanks from red wine sauce and reserve at room temperature.  In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with an equal amount of water, until combined. Place pot back on stovetop, over medium-high heat.  Bring sauce to a boil.  Remove reaming bay leaves. Once at a boil, add cornstarch, slowly, stirring constantly, until sauce reaches desired consistency. Reduce heat to a minimum, or remove completely from heat if serving later.
  11. Taste. Adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.  Return lamb shanks to the sauce, over minimum heat, while finishing and plating dinner. Serve on the bone, draped in sauce, and piping hot. You are a rock star!


IF USING A SLOW COOKER:  Your method is infinitely simpler, though I often find with red meat, in particular, you may miss a layer of flavour.  Simply place all your sauce ingredients (except oil) in your slow cooker.  Add lamb shanks, ensuring they are mostly covered by liquid. Place lid on the slow cooker, and cook on medium heat for 6 – 8 hours. (Time will vary depending on your slow cooker.)  Remove lamb shanks.  Pour off red wine sauce into a separate pot.  Reduce sauce by up to one third, thicken with cornstarch as above. Return shanks to the sauce and serve.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Braising
  • Cuisine: French

Cori Horton

Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer and recipe blogger. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.

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