The Best Wine Braised Lamb Shanks (video)

a plate filled with mashed potatoes and braised lamb shank, on a table

One of my favorite dishes! The best, super tender, wine-braised lamb shanks recipe! If you enjoy lamb, you are going to love this easy and hearty dish! The lamb shanks are slow-braised in a red wine tomato sauce with lots of fresh herbs and garlic. The lamb becomes extra tender, falling right off the bone! Make it a meal by adding some pillow-y gnocchi into the sauce when the lamb is done, or serve with my ‘Butter Mashed Potatoes’. This lamb recipe is restaurant quality dining at home!

Watch My Lamb Shanks Video Tutorial

Watch my YouTube lamb shanks video tutorial for step-by-step instructions for making this easy dinner dish! Want to stay up to date on the latest recipes and posts? Make sure to subscribe to my website email list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!

Ingredients for Lamb Shanks Recipe

Here are some tips for the main ingredients you’ll need to make these tender braised lamb shanks. You can find the full, printable recipe in the recipe card below.

  • Lamb Shanks: this cut of lamb leg is sold bone-in, typically in sets of 2 or 4 pieces. I get mine either at Costco or Safeway.
  • Red Wine: use a good brand of rich red wine, such as cabernet, zinfandel, or merlot. Cooking wine will work in a pinch. Just don’t forget to adjust the salt!
  • Fresh Herbs: use fresh thyme and fresh rosemary for the best tasting lamb. Dried herbs will work but they won’t be as aromatic.
  • Canned Tomatoes: you can use diced or crushed canned tomatoes for the recipe. For best results, use good-quality Italian tomatoes.
  • Beef Broth: for making the braising sauce. You can also use a vegetable broth.
  • Gnocchi: this is an option for serving the braised lamb shanks. You can also make the recipe with mashed potatoes.

Supplies & Tools for the Recipe

Need some supplies or tools to make this lamb dish at home? Shop online using my Amazon Affiliate links. Using these links won’t cost you extra and I’ll earn a small commission.

a large pot filled with tomato sauce and pieces of braised lamb shanks, on a table

Seasoning & Browning the Lamb Shanks

You’ll want to start this recipe with the lamb shanks. Remove them from the packaging they come in, then rinse with cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.

  1. Season the lamb shanks generously with salt and pepper all over, massaging the seasonings into the meat.
  2. Preheat a large sauté pan or braiser over medium-high heat and add in a drizzle of cooking oil (I prefer avocado oil). Brown the lamb shanks well on all sides, turning every 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Once the lamb is well-browned all over, remove the shanks on a tray and set aside.

How to Make Wine Braised Lamb Shanks

Making these tender, wine braised lamb shanks is a breeze with my easy recipe!

  1. Reduce the heat on the pan to a medium and add a tablespoon of butter. Add in the diced onion and sauté it for 5 to 6 minutes, until it’s tender and translucent. Add in the garlic next and cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Pour in the red wine next. Bring it up to a simmer, then allow the wine to reduce and evaporate, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the beef broth, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and tomatoes next and mix everything together.
  3. Return the browned lamb shanks back into the pan and settle them into the sauce. Bring the sauce up to a good simmer over medium-high heat, then cover and reduce the heat to low.
  4. Braise the lamb for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, turning every 30 minutes, until the meat is super tender. Once done cooking, cover, remove from heat, and let the meat rest for another 30 minutes.
a large pot on a table filled with lamb meat and sauce

Serving Suggestions & Sides

There are a few ways you can enjoy this delicious slow-braised lamb!

Option 1: Buttery Mashed Potatoes

Use my recipe for the best mashed potatoes for serving the lamb shanks. Prepare the potatoes during the last 30 minutes of the recipe and keep the potatoes hot. Plate a generous amount of potatoes for every serving, then top with the braised lamb shank and several spoonful’s of the braising sauce.

Option 2: Gnocchi

Another great option is serving the lamb with gnocchi. For this option, you’ll want to remove the lamb from the pan and keep it warm on a separate tray. Cook a package of gnocchi according to package instructions, then add them into the braising sauce. Toss to coat in the sauce, then serve with the lamb!

several plates of potatoes and lamb on a table with wine

More Recipes!

Enjoyed this delicious wine braised lamb shank recipe? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!

  • Braised Beef Short Ribs – the best recipe for fall-off-the-bone, extra tender short ribs in a red wine tomato sauce!
  • Lamb Roast Dinner – super easy and delicious one-pan dinner recipe with potatoes, carrots and more.
  • Roasted Leg of Lamb – the juiciest and most aromatic roasted whole leg of lamb, perfect for holidays! Rubbed with a mustard, garlic and herb spread.
  • Ginger Garlic Lamb Chops – my signature lamb recipe! Beyond amazing!!
  • The Best Shepherd’s Pie – delicious classic comfort food dish, with saucy ground lamb filling and parmesan potatoes!

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a plate filled with mashed potatoes and braised lamb shank, on a table
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The Best Wine Braised Lamb Shanks Recipe (video)

20 mins prep + 3 hrs cook
4 servings
Super tender, fall-off-the-bone wine braised lamb shanks, slow-cooked in a fragrant tomato, herb and red wine sauce.

Ingredients 

  • 2 to 3 lamb shanks
  • salt and pepper, for seasoning
  • cooking oil, for browning
  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups diced canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, optional
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 to 2 tsp salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste

Optional (for serving)

  • 1 lb packaged gnocchi

Instructions

Preparing the Lamb:

  • You'll want to start this recipe with the lamb shanks. Remove them from the packaging they come in, then rinse with cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Season the lamb shanks generously with salt and pepper all over, massaging the seasonings into the meat.
  • Preheat a large sauté pan or braiser over medium-high heat and add in a drizzle of cooking oil (I prefer avocado oil). Brown the lamb shanks well on all sides, turning every 4 to 5 minutes. Once the lamb is well-browned all over, remove the shanks on a tray and set aside.

Making the Sauce:

  • Reduce the heat on the pan to a medium and add a tablespoon of butter. Add in the diced onion and sauté it for 5 to 6 minutes, until it's tender and translucent. Add in the garlic next and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the red wine next. Bring it up to a simmer, then allow the wine to reduce and evaporate, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the beef broth, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and tomatoes next and mix everything together.

Braising Instructions:

  • Return the browned lamb shanks back into the pan and settle them into the sauce. The meat should be about half way submerged. Bring the sauce up to a good simmer over medium-high heat, then cover and reduce the heat to low.
  • Braise the lamb for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, turning every 30 minutes, until the meat is super tender. If the sauce becomes too thick, add more beef broth. Once done cooking, cover, remove from heat, and let the meat rest for another 30 minutes.

Serving Suggestions:

  • There are a few ways you can enjoy this delicious slow-braised lamb!
  • Option 1: Buttery Mashed Potatoes
    Use my recipe for the best mashed potatoes for serving the lamb shanks. Prepare the potatoes during the last 30 minutes of the recipe and keep the potatoes hot. Plate a generous amount of potatoes for every serving, then top with the braised lamb shank and several spoonful's of the braising sauce.
  • Option 2: Gnocchi
    Another great option is serving the lamb with gnocchi. For this option, you'll want to remove the lamb from the pan and keep it warm on a separate tray. Cook a package of gnocchi according to package instructions, then add them into the braising sauce. Toss to coat in the sauce, then serve with the lamb!
  • I also like to grate fresh parmesan over the lamb right before enjoying.

Note:

  • Nutritional facts calculated for lamb and sauce only, with no gnocchi or potatoes.

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 1653mg | Potassium: 594mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 761IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 4mg