Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Red Wine Sauce

Aussies love slow cooked lamb shanks, and this might be the king of them all! With a rich, deeply flavoured red wine sauce, this is the sort of food you’ll find on the menu of fine dining restaurants.
Just like the Pork Braised Lamb Shanks recipe, this is straightforward to make, but calls for patience to let the lamb shanks cook slowly until they become meltingly tender. Oven, slow cooker, pressure cooker or stove top. Mop your bowl clean with Irish Soda Bread, a quick and easy rustic no-yeast bread!

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Red Wine Sauce


  • 4 lamb shanks , around 13 oz / 400g each (Note 1)
  • 1 cup onion , finely diced (brown, yellow or white)
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 - 3 tbsp olive oil , separated
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups / 500 ml chicken stock, low sodium (or water)
  • 1 cup carrot , finely diced (Note 2)
  • 2 dried bay leaves (or 4 fresh)
  • 1 cup celery , finely diced (Note 2)
  • 2 1/2 cups / 625 ml red wine , full bodied (good value wine, not expensive! Note 3)
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 5 sprigs of thyme (preferably tied together), or 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 28 oz / 800g can crushed tomatoes


  • Mashed potato, polenta or pureed cauliflower
  • Fresh thyme leaves, optional garnish
Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Red Wine Sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Pat the lamb shanks dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy based pot over high heat. Sear the lamb shanks in 2 batches until brown all over, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove lamb onto a plate and drain excess fat (if any) from the pot.
  5. Turn the heat down to medium low. Heat remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in the same pot, if needed. Add the onion and garlic, cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add carrot and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until onion is translucent and sweet.
  7. Add the red wine, chicken stock, crushed tomato, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
  8. Place the lamb shanks into the pot, squeezing them in to fit so they are mostly submerged. (Note 1)
  9. Turn stove up, bring to a simmer. Cover, then transfer to the oven for 2 hours (see notes for other cook methods).
  10. Remove from oven, remove lid, then return to the oven for another 30 minutes (so 2 1/2 hours in total). Check to ensure lamb is tender - if not, cover and keep cooking. Ideal is tender meat but still holding onto bone.
  11. Remove lamb onto plate and keep warm. Pick out and discard bay leaves and thyme.
  12. Strain the sauce into a bowl, pressing to extract all sauce out of the veggies (Note 5 for repurposing the veggies). Pour strained sauce back into pot. Bring to simmer over medium heat and reduce slightly to a syrupy consistency (see video) - I rarely need to. Taste then add salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Serve the lamb shanks on mashed potato or cauliflower puree with plenty of sauce! Garnish with thyme leaves if desired.

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