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April 12, 2023

Napa Valley Red Wine and Port Lamb Shanks


Recipe Provided By
Chef Cindy Pawlcyn


Marinated American lamb chops with rosemary & garlic on a plate


  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup port
  • 20 to 25 garlic cloves, blanched 3 times and peeled, left whole
  • 4 American Lamb shanks
  • 1-1/2 750 ml bottles red wine
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 4 allspice berries, whole
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns, whole
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 to 4 cups lamb or chicken stock
  • Mashed potatoes, to taste
  • For garnish:  Mint, to taste


In a bowl, macerate raisins in port overnight.  To blanch garlic, start each time with cold water; bring to a full rolling boil.  Drain; repeat process two more times.  Garlic should be tender. 

In a large bowl, combine wine, vinegar, juniper berries, allspice berries, peppercorns and bay leaves; place lamb shanks in marinade for 2 days, turning daily to ensure even marinating. 

Drain, reserving marinade; season shanks with salt and pepper.  In a pot that will hold shanks snugly, add shanks, marinade and stock.  Cook for approximately 3 hours at 300°F, covered.  Turn shanks every 45 minutes.  When tender, remove shanks reserving braising juices; keep shanks warm in a low oven.  Strain braising juices of spices; skim off fat. 

In a saucepot, add port, raising and garlic to strained juices; heat, reduce to a sauce consistency.  Thicken if desired with butter and flour. 

Place heated shanks with mashed potatoes; pour sauce over the top.  Arrange garlic and raisins over each serving; garnish with mint.

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