October 7, 2018

Mediterranean-Style Wine Braised American Lamb Shanks with Vegetables


Prep Time

30 min

Cook Time

2 hrs 30 min

Total Time

3 hrs


6 shanks

lamb loin chops with cucumber mint salad and sweet and smoky tahini


Spice Mix

  • 2-1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • 6 American Lamb shanks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, scrubbed
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, cut into large pieces
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 can (28 ounces) peeled tomatoes
  • 4 springs fresh thyme
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 springs fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Rice or Orzo pasta


For the Spice Mix: In a small bowl, add garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and nutmeg; mix to combine. 

Pat the lamb shanks dry; season with Spice Mix on all sides. 

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown lamb shanks on all sides (about 8 minutes). Transfer the shanks to a large tray or bowl. Carefully dispose of extra fat in a separate heat-safe bowl; return the pot to heat. Add potatoes, carrots, celery and onion; sauté for 5 to 7 minutes on medium-high, or until vegetables gain some color. Add wine; scrape the pot of brown bits. Cook briefly so that the wine reduces a bit. Add broth, tomatoes, thyme, cinnamon and rosemary. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Return lamb back to the pot; press down to submerge. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn heat off. 

Cover the pot; transfer to a 350°F oven. Cook for 2-1/2 hours, checking periodically and adding more liquid if needed. When the shanks finish cooking, the liquid will have reduced to about 1/3 of original amount. 

While the lamb shanks are cooking, prepare rice or orzo pasta according to package instructions. 

Serve the lamb shanks hot with vegetables and braising sauce on top of rice or orzo pasta.


  • Prepare Ahead Instructions: These braised lamb shanks can be prepared one day ahead. Once cooked, let the lamb cool. Store the lamb shanks separate from the vegetables and braising liquid. Cover in a tight lid container; keep chilled in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before heating. Place the lamb shanks in an oven-safe dish with 1/2 cup broth or water. Cover; heat at 350°F. Meanwhile, place the vegetables and braising liquid in a pot, add a little broth or water. Cover and warm over medium heat. When ready to serve, transfer the lamb shanks to a platter; spoon the vegetables and liquid on top.
  • Slow Cooker Instructions: If slow cooking, use 1 less cup of wine. Follow the recipe until you boil everything together stove-top. Instead of transferring the pot to the oven, carefully transfer everything to the insert of your largest slow cooker. Set the slow cooker on low for 8 hours.

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.


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