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5 from 9 votes

Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks

Tender and delicious red wine braised lamb shanks with carrots, celery, onions, and herbs are easy to make and go perfectly with garlic mashed potatoes, creamy polenta, or crusty bread.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time3 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4


  • 4 ~1 pound lamb shanks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup flour for dredging only
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 large celery ribs diced
  • 8 cloves garlic smashed
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 cups dry red wine chianti, cabernet, pinot noir
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef stock plus more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs rosemary


  • Preheat oven to 350f and set the rack to the middle level leaving enough room to accommodate a Dutch oven.
  • Season the lamb shanks well on all sides with salt and pepper then dredge in the flour and shake off any excess.
  • Heat a large Dutch oven to medium heat with olive oil and sear the shanks until brown on all sides (approximately 10 minutes total). Place all the seared shanks in a plate off to the side.
  • Pour off the excess fat from the pot, leaving only 3 tablespoons worth. Add the onion, carrot, and celery to the pot along with a pinch of salt. Saute the veggies until soft (about 10 minutes).
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant then add the tomato paste. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. If the paste starts to burn add a few ounces of water and/or lower the heat a touch.
  • Add the wine to the pot and turn the heat to high. With a wooden spoon, scrape all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Boil for 2 minutes then turn the heat off.
  • Add the lamb shanks, beef stock, bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, and black pepper to the pot. Mix well then cover with a heavy lid. Place the pot into the oven and cook for 2 hours then remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes or until the top of the lamb has browned a bit.
  • Remove the lamb shanks from the pot and degrease the sauce by skimming some of the fat off with a spoon. Taste test, and if needed, season with more salt and pepper.
  • Remove the rosemary and bay leaves and blend the sauce with an immersion blender to thicken. Alternatively, boiling for 5-10 minutes or using a cornstarch slurry works as well. Serve the lamb shanks with crusty bread or over mashed potatoes, polenta, or rice. Enjoy!


  • Lamb shanks vary in size but a 1-pound shank is a good size portion for 1 person. 
  • Cooking time is a rough estimate.  Cook until the lamb shanks are very tender. 
  • Serving the lamb shanks the next day is even better if you have the time!  The flavors will concentrate and you can remove most of the fat from the sauce. Separate and refrigerate both the shanks and the sauce.  The next day, all of the fat will have risen to the top and can be easily spooned off and removed.  Reheat the shanks and sauce together over medium-low heat.
  • Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be frozen for up to 3 months.


Calories: 641kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.3g | Protein: 48.5g | Fat: 33.3g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 337mg | Potassium: 536mg | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 6.5g | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 5mg