lamb shanks

Lamb Shanks In Red Wine Sauce

I made some lamb shanks for my son’s birthday a few weeks ago and they turned out delicious so I thought that I would share the recipe with you today. I looked up some recipes on the internet for some inspiration and then I got an idea of what ingredients I needed. Then I just took it from there and added my own twist.

Nothing screams comfort food like lamb shanks! You just can’t beat that delicious tender fall-apart meat served in a rich red wine sauce. It is just so luxurious! I had made lamb shanks before in a slow cooker but my slow cooker broke and I haven’t replaced it. (Now I’m not sure if I ever will).

But this time I cooked them in the oven. They were super easy to make and everybody loved them. I served the shanks with creamy mashed potato and peas. But you could always serve them with gremolata, rice or just good old crusty bread.

Lamb Shanks In Red Wine Sauce

Lamb shanks are a tough cut of meat. So they really need slow cooking for the meat to be fall-apart tender. I think that nearly all recipes recommend that the lamb shanks be browned first. I have to admit that for this recipe I skipped this step and the shanks were still very tender, juicy, succulent and delicious.

But if you have time then by all means go ahead and brown them first. They will probably taste even better (if that’s possible ?) I just didn’t have time or energy to brown them first and I didn’t want to deal with cleaning up the spatter of oil that comes with browning any meat.

This recipe is for four lamb shanks but I actually doubled the recipe because we had family over for dinner and I needed to cook eight lamb shanks.


  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic

Red Wine Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 2 celery stems finely chopped
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 chicken stock cubes


  1. Rub the shanks with garlic, oil, salt and pepper then set aside while you make the red wine sauce.
  2. Add a good splash of olive oil to a medium-sized saucepan and cook the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery until slightly tender.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, wine, water, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, stock cubes and cumin
  4. Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes
  5. Pour the sauce over the shanks
  6. You can use a dutch oven or a heavy cast iron pot with a lid to cook the lamb shanks. I don’t own any of these so I just used my mum’s old Corningware that I inherited and covered them in foil.
  7. Cook the shanks in the oven at 180C for 2.5 to 3 hours

I am probably going against all good cooking rules by not browning the shanks first. According to the experts, my lamb shanks would taste even better if I brown them first. But I just didn’t have the time. And they tasted so good anyway!

Cumin has a funny smell and I have to admit that I am always hesitant to use it. But I am sure that this is what gave my lamb shanks that extra delicious flavour.

red wine sauce for lamb shanks

lamb shanks

lamb shanks



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