Braised lamb shanks are a fantastic dish to add to your dinner party, as all the prep work is done at the beginning, and the lamb is cooked slowly until the meat falls off the bone. Flavoured with rosemary, garlic, tomatoes, and red wine this lamb shank recipe is braised in rich Bourguignon-style red wine gravy.
Lamb shanks are best cooked slowly at low temperatures. In addition to braising lamb shanks, you can make roasted lamb shanks or instant pot lamb shanks as this method will require less work. No matter the cooking method you choose to prepare lamb shanks they will be tender and delicious no matter what. All of the groundwork is done at the beginning of this recipe giving you ample time to relax while it is cooking.
What are Lamb shanks?
Lamb shanks are a cheaper cut of meat craving to be slowly cooked. Slowly cooking this meat at a low temperature turns this tough piece of meat into a mouth-watering tender slide off the bone delicacy. While the lamb is simmering, a beautiful decadent gravy forms taking this dish to the next level.
This recipe is flavoured with ingredients probably already in your kitchen such as onions, garlic, tomato sauce, rosemary, thyme, and beef stock. The best part about this recipe is you can put it on the stove and walk away from it. You can put your feet up and have a glass of wine while watching a movie or binge-watch your favourite Tv shows, or you can read a book and take a nap as you wait for the lamb to finish cooking. While you are relaxing, the lovely aroma of braised lamb shanks will permeate through the air.
How to Cook Lamb Shanks
Braised lamb shanks are easy to prepare. First, the shanks are seared on the stove for a few minutes so they can develop a beautiful brown crust. Next aromatics are added to pick up the delicious flavour of the lamb shanks. A few teaspoons of flour are added as a thickening agent for the stew and the pan is deglazed by the chicken stock and red wine. The stew is flavoured by herbs that give the stew its delicious taste.
- When preparing foods like pot roast, beef stew, or beef bourguignon it is a necessary step to sear the meat. In geek-speak when meat is seared it undergoes the Maillard reaction. As a result of cooking meat over high heat, a chemical reaction occurs between the amino acids and the sugars of the meat creating the unique brown crust and aroma that permeates our nostrils. The searing process can take about 10 minutes since the lamb shanks are unevenly shaped. Searing these shanks is an extra step that is worth the flavour.
- These shanks are flavoured with staple aromatics already in your kitchen. Onions carrots and garlic are added to the same oil and pan drippings from the shanks to add another layer of flavour to the stew.
- Flour is the thickening agent that makes the rich delicious gravy cling to the surface of the shanks.
- Liquids are used to deglaze the pan. Deglazing is a cooking technique that involves adding liquid to the pot you seared meat in and gently dragging your spoon along the bottom of the pot to release the browned food particles. Beef stock, wine, and tomato puree are added to flavour and tenderize the shanks as well as release those brown delicious bits of flavour from the bottom of the pan.
- Herbs are used to create the perfect flavour profile. Thyme, parsley, and bay leaves are used to flavour the sauce. You can even use your favorite blend of herbs like thyme and oregano or you can skip adding the herbs and yield lamb shanks that are tasty and tender.
Which Wine is Best for Braising?
A premium dry red wine is preferable for this recipe. Select a red wine that is not too expensive like a Pinot Noir or a Syrah. Avoid using strong wines as they can overpower the flavour of the lamb shank. You can also use any red wine that you have in your kitchen.
What are the Best Sides to Serve With Braised Lamb Shanks?
Lamb shank pairs well with any side dishes that the gravy can be drizzled over. Buttery mashed potatoes, polenta, sweet potatoes, cauliflower rice, creamy cauliflower mashed potatoes, white rice, and pasta are delicious sides to pair with lamb shanks. When choosing side dishes select plain side dishes that will not upstage the star of the show.
How to Thicken Gravy
Traditionally the liquid is simmered for 10 minutes until it transforms into a gorgeous shiny gravy. However, most lamb shank recipes use a quick shortcut you can use. In a small bowl, whisk 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the braising liquid until the cornstarch is dissolved. Quickly stir the slurry into the pot until it is completely combined. Simmer the liquid for 10 minutes until it turns into a glossy, thick gravy. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the gravy is thickened.
Braised Lamb Shanks
Tender, slide off the bone lamb shanks braised in a delicious and succulent beef bourguignon inspired sauce. Flavoured with staple aromatics and herbs this easy recipe is perfect for your Sunday dinner.
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 3 hours | Total Time: 3 hours and 20 minutes | Servings: 6
| Calories: 563kcals
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil separated
- 6 lamb shanks with the excess fat removed
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large carrots sliced 1/2 inch in diameter
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 1/2 cups red wine
- 1 14 oz can of tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 beef bouillon cubes crushed
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons of thyme
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped (divided)
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Wash the lamb shanks and pat them dry using a paper towel. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Season the lamb shanks generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear two lamb shanks at a time in the hot oil until a brown crust forms on all of the sides. Remove the shanks from the pot and transfer them onto a plate. Sear the rest of the shanks and add more oil if necessary.
- Add the carrots and onions, and saute until the onions are translucent and the carrots start to soften about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute for 1 minute then add in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Place the shanks on top of the sauteed veggies. Add the beef stock, tomato sauce, crushed beef bouillon cubes, and herbs. Cover the pot and bring the lamb shanks to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1/2-2 hours until the meat falls off the bone.
- Remove 1/4 cup of the lamb drippings from the pot. In a bowl add the cornstarch and whisk in the liquid. Pour the slurry into the pot, stirring frequently. Let the sauce cook for 5 minutes until the liquid transforms into a glossy thick gravy.
- Garnish the meat with parsley. Serve and enjoy!
Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.5g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 24.3g | Saturated Fat: 7.9 g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 2837mg | Potassium: 522mg | Sugar: 12.4g | Vitamin D: 0mcg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 6mg
Braised lamb shanks are tender and flavourful. This tough cut of meat is transformed into the most succulent cut of meat with a rich glossy gravy. This recipe is easy to make and perfect for Sunday dinner.