Monday 8 April 2013

Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks Recipe

The lamb shank is a long-ignored cut of lamb that is very tasty but quite tough so it requires long, slow cooking to obtain tender melt in the mouth results.

Here is a classic lamb-based recipe for lamb shanks cooked slowly in a red wine and tomato base. The results are tender and succulent and as you can cook the dish slowly without supervision this makes a great recipe that can easily be adapted as a crockpot recipe or can be made before hand and re-heated to serve as a family meal.

Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks

Serves: 4
lamb shanks braised slowly in red wine and tomato passata served from the casserole dish in which they were cooked


2 tbsp olive oil
4 lamb shanks
2 large onions, sliced
1 celery stick, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
250ml (1 cup) red wine
250ml (1 cup) lamb stock
175ml (3/4 cup) passata (sieved tomatoes)
1 tsp golden caster sugar
1 bayleaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to garnish
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste


Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a large casserole dish over high heat. Once the oil is hot add the lamb shanks and fry to brown well on all sides. Remove with tongs and set aside.

Reduce the heat, add the remaining oil to the pan then put in the onions, carrot and celery. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are almost tender. Add the garlic at this point and continue to cook for 1 minute more.

Pour the red wine into the pan, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Add the stock, passata, sugar, bayleaf, thyme and seasonings. Bring the mixture back to a boil then return the lamb shanks to the casserole. Spoon over the braising liquid to coat the meat then cover with a tight-fitting lid.

Braise gently (ie simmer gently) for about 2 hours or until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone. During this time turn the meat in the liquid every 30 minutes to ensure it cooks evenly and does not dry out on top.

Adjust the seasonings, sit the lamb shanks upright then scatter over the chopped parsley and serve immediately from the casserole dish.

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