The first time I made Slow Cooked Lamb Shank In Red Wine Sauce was in France, this classic was the basis of any cooking. All around the world, no matter where you are, this will definitely be a crowd-pleaser. Working in Sydney at a five-star hotel this used to be the most famous dish served during winter.
Now in this recipe, I will be adding onions, carrots and celery, this will contribute to the overall flavour and texture of the dish. I am not straining out the vegetables at the end because it adds so much depth in term of flavour and texture, so I will be leaving it in. But you also can strain it, if you wish.
What cut of lamb to use for slow cooked lamb shank?
Lamb shanks need to be used for this dish, lamb shanks are cheap cuts of lamb that needs to be slow-cooked for a long time to make it tender and succulent. Lamb shanks will typically come with fat on it, you don’t need to trim it, as this will give the dish the overall juicy texture. Also, it is so difficult to trim the fat off the lamb shanks, so don’t even attempt to do it.
Slow cooked lamb shank in the oven
The most common way to cook lamb shanks are in the oven, you also can cook it in a pressure cooker to expedite the time or in a slow cooker or if you have sous vide cooker, you can cook it in sous vide.
How long to slow cook lamb shanks in the oven?
You need to cook it in the oven for 2.5 hours to 3 hours maximum to get tender meat falling off the bone
What pan to use when cooking lamb shanks in the oven
Use a heavy bottom pan. The dish needs to be started off on the stove, so it’s basically a one-pot dish. If you have an ovenable casserole, use it, if not you can start with a pan and transfer it to a deep ovenable tray to cook in the oven
Temperature to slow cook lamb shanks
The lamb shanks need to be cooked at 180C
How to thicken slow cooked lamb shanks gravy
This dish is basically a one-pot dish, therefore, once the dish is started, flour is added before adding the liquids, this will eventually thicken up the sauce when cooking in the oven. Also because it gets cooked in the oven for a long time, the sauce reduces and thickens it.
The recipe given below is going to be a thick and rich sauce, the vegetables added also contributes to thickening the sauce due to the starch content in the vegetables. but by any chance, if the sauce is liquid, then once the dish is fully cooked, take off the lamb shanks, and leave the sauce on the stove and add 2 tbsp of cornflour, mixed with 1/2 cup of water to make a slurry and when the sauce is boiling on the stove add the slurry in, which will instantly thicken the sauce
Can you overcook lamb shanks
You cannot overcook lamb shank, because the more you cook more tender it gets but there is a point that it can get overcooked which will not be visible visually, but when you taste the product it will have a slight sandy effect in the meat.
you also don’t want the meat to be too soft because you want it to be soft but have a good bite to it.
How do you cook lamb shank tender
The secret behind getting tender lamb shanks are cooking it in the gravy for a long period of time. What happens when you cook in the gravy is that it absorbs the gravy inside the lamb shanks which in turn makes it tender and juicy also prevents it from drying out.
So the longer you cook, tender it becomes but cooking for 2.5 hours-3 hours is more than enough to get lamb shanks tender
What to serve with slow cooked lamb shank
it is a dish with a thick sauce so you definitely need some creamy starch component like mash potatoes ( Click here to try my best homemade creamy mash potato), boiled vegetables and some crusty bread to go with it.
Can you reheat lamb shanks?
Yes, you can reheat lamb shanks, just add the sauce and the lamb shank in a deep plate, cover with a cling wrap and reheat in the microwave for 6 minutes or until warm.
What kind of wine to use when making this dish
So I use very cheap wine because this is not a flavour contributing factor to the overall dish. once the wine is heated up, the good part of the wine gets evaporated, so what’s the point in adding a $100 wine, when you will not even taste the difference. so use cheap wine, I sometimes use leftover wine as well.
Slow cooked lamb shanks with no wine
So this dish really needs wine to elevate the dish, but if you don’t drink wine or don’t wish to add wine, just replace the quantity with the beef stock quantity.
Mistakes everyone does when making lamb shanks?
1. Not browning the meat: This process allows the meat to be sealed on the outside locking in the flavour of the meat, what happens when it is not sealed, its moisture and flavour of the meat will drip outside making it dry and not flavoursome so always remember to brown the meat
2. Adding flour before adding any liquid, this is a vital step, because all the fat of the lamb shank, mixed with the flour will help the sauce to thicken up during the cooking process. I see a lot of recipes calling out to do this step after the whole dish is completed, please don’t do that, as this will help to keep the flavour and texture of the sauce from the very beginning itself.
3 Tomato paste to be cooked prior to adding in; Tomato paste in this recipe has to be cooked prior to adding in when you add in raw tomato paste to a dish, you can taste the product having a very acidic after taste, hence why it is very important to cook it.
4. Not reducing the red wine; I see so many recipes just adding in all liquids as one, there is a reason why red wine is added and reduced first because if u don’t let the red wine cook, it gives such a bad taste of sourness in the sauce. This applies to all sauces, gravies etc.. so make sure the red wine is added and kept for 1 minute until it has really evaporated and reduced before adding all liquids.
Watch video how to make slow-cooked lamb shank in red wine sauce
Step by step recipe on how to make slow-cooked lamb shank in red wine sauce
Slow Cooked Lamb Shank In Red Wine Sauce
- 2 Lamb shanks
- 1 cup Carrots Diced
- 1 cup Celery Diced
- 1 cup Brown onion Diced
- 2 cloves Garlic Chopped
- 1 sprig Rosemary
- 500 ml Beef stock
- 200 ml Red wine
- 100 g Crushed tomato
- 1 tbsp Tomato paste
- 1/2 tbsp All purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 180C
- Pat dry the lamb shanks and season with salt and pepper
- Heat a oven ready pan on medium heat with oil, sear the lamb shanks on all sides
- Once well-seared take the lamb shanks off the pan, to the same pan, add all the vegetables and cook until soft
- Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, then add in flour and cook for further 30 seconds
- Add the red wine and let it reduce before adding any other liquid in
- Add the water, crushed tomato, beef stock and let it simmer for 5 minutes, then add the lamb shanks, close the lid and cook it in the oven for 2 - 2 1/2 hours ( please note you need to check it every 30 minutes to make sure the sauce has not evaporated too much, if it has, keep adding more water, start with 1 cup of water)
- Serve it warm on top of creamy mash potato