Five Marys Farms Lamb Shanks Recipe

April 19, 2021

Braised Lamb Shanks in Red Wine Sauce

Found on page 178 of my Ranch Raised Cookbook!
Photography by Charity Burggraaf

Lean lamb shanks – which are cut from the lower leg and can be tough – become meltingly tender and richly flavorful when cooked long and low, either in the oven or a slow cooker. And since lamb pairs beautifully with herbs, tomatoes, and red wine, this sauce is an ideal way to bring them all together. Brian loves to come home during the cold winter months to the aromas of this dish wafting through the cabin.

Makes 6 servings.


  • 6 lamb shanks (about 4 1/2 pounds total)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef stock
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  • Creamy Polenta, for serving (optional)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Season the lamb shanks all over with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches if necessary, add the lamb and sear, turning a few times, until nicely browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pot. Cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, then stir in the tomato paste. Stir in the wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and let the mixture come to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the stock, tomato sauce, herb sprigs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and stir to combine. Tuck the lamb shanks into the sauce, submerging them as much as possible. Return the mixture to a boil, then cover and transfer to the oven.

Cook until the lamb shanks are fall-apart tender, stirring every so often, about 2 1/2 hours. Carefully transfer the lamb shanks to a warm serving platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Discard the herb sprigs.

Skim any fat from the surface of the braising liquid, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until slightly thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the butter until melted. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the lamb and garnish with the parsley. Serve at once with the polenta.

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