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Lamb Shanks in Red Wine Gravy

Proper comfort food, this is a totally make it up as I went along recipe but I must say I was very pleased with the result.

A deliciously rich red wine, redcurrant and balsamic gravy and the lamb was literally falling off the bone.

Lamb Shanks in a Red Wine, Redcurrant and Balsamic Gravy

Lamb Shanks in Red Wine Gravy

This is the ultimate comfort food for cold and dark days if you like lamb you will be certain to like my Lamb Boulangère

What are Lamb Shanks?

Lamb shanks are from the lower leg of lambs. They are an inexpensive and tough cut of meat; although with that said, I have noticed the price go up in recent times as they are becoming very popular and are on most pub restaurant menus.

Lamb shanks need to be slow-cooked; either braised or roasted in order to break down the tough meat to soften into delicious tenderness.

The meat itself is full of flavour which adds to the flavour of the sauce and the marrow in the bone melts into the sauce, adding real flavour and richness.

How to cook Lamb Shanks

The good news is you literally cannot overcook lamb shanks.

If you happen to leave them for an hour too long, fear not! The meat will still be succulent and juicy. The worst that will happen is that the meat falls off the bone when you go to serve it.

I did put a couple of carrots in the dish whilst it was cooking, I also served the lamb shanks with roasted carrots and parsnips and roast potatoes too.

Lamb shanks in a cast iron casserole

Next time, I think I'll go with creamy mashed potatoes for serious comfort food!

Yield: 2
Author: Jan Bennett
Lamb Shanks in Red Wine Gravy

Lamb Shanks in Red Wine Gravy

A very filling meal, next time I will serve with creamy mashed potatoes rather than roast potatoes.
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 2 H & 15 MTotal time: 2 H & 30 M


  • about 50g butter in total (a 'knob' is a third of this amount)
  • a glug or two of olive oil
  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 3 red onions - sliced
  • 3 fat cloves of garlic - finely chopped
  • 2 carrots - peeled and quartered
  • 2 sticks of celery - each cut into four pieces
  • a couple of sprigs of thyme - leaves only and chopped
  • 1 sprig of rosemary - leaves only and finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a good heaped tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of redcurrant jelly
  • a tablespoon of decent Balsamic vinegar
  • 400ml beef stock - made from a Knorr stock cube (OXO cube will not be the same as it's too salty)
  • 400ml red wine a glug of port (a good tablespoon)
  • a splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season


Preheat your oven to 170C/325F or Gas 3
  1. Get yourself a nice casserole dish with a lid that can go both on top of the stove and inside the oven. 
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and a knob of butter. Brown the shanks - when they're nicely coloured, remove and set aside.
  3. Now in the same pan, without washing it, add another glug of oil and a knob of butter. 
  4. Gently fry the onions until they are soft but not coloured.
  5. Put the carrots and celery in and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic. 
  6. Fry for another minute or so and then add the chopped thyme and rosemary along with the tomato puree; cook for a minute or it will taste bitter.
  7. Now add the bay leaf, stock, wine, and redcurrant jelly and give everything a good stir and bring to the boil.
  8. Have a taste (take no notice of the very liquid state of the gravy at this stage) as that will be sorted in the end.
  9. Put the lamb back in and on with the lid and into your preheated oven. 
  10. Because the liquid won't be enough to cover the lamb skanks, you will have to turn them and give it a stir every now and then, say every 45 minutes to an hour.
  11. They will need about 2 to 2½ hours, by which time the meat will very easily come fall off the bone.
  12. When they're nicely done, remove the shanks and cover to keep warm.
  13. Put the casserole on the stovetop and bring the liquid to a boil before adding the balsamic, port and Worcestershire sauce
  14. Turn the heat down just a little as you need the liquid to reduce. 
  15. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning - you may want to add a little more redcurrant jelly or port.
  16. When it's nicely reduced (shouldn't take long) stir in a knob of butter to make a nice glossy sauce and serve immediately.
  17. Don't forget to remove the bay leaves before serving!
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  1. Oh darling this is heavenly, I love eating meat that falls off the bone in front of me!

  2. It sounds so rich with complex flavours...so good. Just the comfort food we need.

  3. Great winter warmer! I want to try making lamb shank pie now - looks great with the bones sticking out....

  4. Even with temperatures in the high 40's, I would be happy to devour that!! Lovely tatties too!!

  5. Look at that delicious, bone presentation. Sounds lovely Jan!

  6. Jan, oh gosh, that looks outstandingly good.

  7. I love lamb shanks and the sauce looks very dark, luscious and delicious.

  8. Jan, that's a FABU dish....lamb shanks are one of my fave winter/cold weather dishes.


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