Lamb Shanks Braised in Red Wine

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

Lamb Shanks Braised in Red Wine

Serves 6


  • 6 lamb shanks, about 1/4 lb. each
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. crushed black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups homemade or lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 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)
  • 5 3-inch sprigs fresh rosemary
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F . Season the shanks with salt and freshly ground black pepper. In a large, high-sided ovenproof pot, heat the oil until barely smoking.
  2. Sear the shanks in batches on all sides until golden brown. Put all the shanks in the pot; add the peppercorns, bay leaves, broth, wine, garlic, celery, carrots, onion, and mushrooms.
  3. 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. (If making ahead, refrigerate the shanks and cooking liquid separately. Before reheating, remove the fat from the liquid. Put the shanks and the liquid in a covered roasting pan in a 400°F oven for about 20 minutes.)
  4. 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.
  5. Serve the shanks  with the sauce ladled over it, and some of the mushrooms and onions on the side.

*Use tongs to remove the cooked shanks. Reserve some of the vegetables to serve; they’ll be soft but full of flavor.


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