Braised Lamb Shanks in Port and Red Wine

November 23, 2011

Winter is gone but definitely not forgotten, even with summer peeking around the corner. Especially since Sydney springtime can be notorious for its fickle weather and topsy turvy temperatures. Where we can swelter one day, endure storms the next before ending with a sudden cold snap all in a space of a day or two. Suits me fine though especially when a sunny day suddenly descends into an afternoon rainstorm. Makes for a killer frolicking moment.

Plus it means that I can still enjoy a hearty protein-fueled meal long after winter hangs up its scarf. And this time I was craving lamb shanks big time, braised in copious amounts of sweet alcohol. You can blame this sudden urge on my good friend Lisa, who recently cooked us an amazing lunch where she served veal shanks cooked in PX. I was ecstatic to say the least.

Now I am a meat and potatoes type of girl through and through and braises and stews are my favourite. There’s just something undeniably magical about braised meats especially when it’s comes dressed in a sticky, luminous barbecue-sauce-like glaze and slow cooked until it’s tender. So tender that it sits almost quivering, just barely holding itself intact. And nothing more than a gentle flicker of your fork is needed to tear through its flimsy fibres and break it down into numerous melt-in-your-mouth shards of delicious luscious sweet meat.

Braises are the ultimate in meat erotica.

• • • 

Aaaand before you go, there are only a few days left to vote in the Nuffang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards and I would love some Christmas cheer (oh and you can vote every two hours if you REALLY love me hehe). Thanks so much for all your support so far xx

Braised Lamb Shanks in Port and Red Wine
Serves 4
  1. 2 Tbl of olive oil
  2. 4 x lamb shanks (frenched if you wish)
  3. 2 brown onions, sliced into half crescents
  4. 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  5. 1 Tbl butter
  6. 1 tsp caster sugar
  7. 100ml red wine
  8. 500ml port
  9. 100ml balsamic vinegar
  10. 300ml beef stock
  11. 2 Tbl of brown sugar
  12. Bouquet garni (parsely, thyme, bay leaves)
  1. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish over medium high heat, then brown the lamb shanks all all sides until golden. Remove and set aside.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium then sauté the onion and garlic with the butter and sugar until lightly golden and caramelised.
  3. Turn up the heat, then deglaze the pan with the red wine, making sure to scrape the good bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook until most of the red wine has reduced.
  4. Add the port, balsamic vinegar, stock and brown sugar and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to the lowest heat, add the bouquet garni, clamp on the lid then simmer the lamb shanks for approximately 2.5-3 hours or until the lamb is super tender and the sauce has reduced into a thin glaze. Season to taste.
  6. If you wish for a thicker sauce, discard the herbs and remove the lamb shanks to a plate, then add a paste made from cornflour and cold water and simmer until thickened.
  7. Serve over a mound of buttery creamy mash. Ladle the sticky glaze over the lamb and shower with chopped fresh parsley.
  8. Note: You can also pump up the vege content here simply by adding thickly sliced butter mushroom or carrots.
Citrus and Candy

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin T August 11, 2015 at 11:16

Hello! I’m making lamb for my husband’s upcoming birthday and this recipe looks delicious! I was just wondering – did you make it in a pressure cooker? And if not – do you think you could?
Thanks in advance!


citrus and candy August 11, 2015 at 19:54

Hi Robin, I made it in a normal casserole pot. You can certainly use a pressure cooker but the cooking time would be much shorter especially for lamb. Probably halve the cooking time and check to see if the lamb is tender then go from there :)


Jerilyn March 3, 2015 at 11:29

First off I want to say fantastic blog! I had a
quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
I was curious tto find out how you center youself and clear your mind prior to writing.

I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting myy thoughts out.

I do enjoy writing however it just seems llike the
first 10 to 15 minutes are generally wasted just trying to
figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?


Liz February 16, 2015 at 10:03

I made this for Valentine’s Day last night, and it was delicious! I added about 8 ounces of baby portable mushrooms at the same time as the onions and upped the balsamic just a tad. No complaints from my Valentine!


Citrus and Candy February 16, 2015 at 21:32

Hi Liz, I’m so glad you both enjoyed it! The mushrooms sounds amazing being braised with lamb. Thanks so much for letting me know :)


Mutsa July 8, 2013 at 07:55

Made these for dinner tonight and they were a huge hit! the sauce was absolutely divine!! thank you for the recipe :) x


Yaz April 1, 2013 at 00:21

Oh my! Made half of this -only 2 lamb shanks- for Easter Sunday dinner & they came out more than perfect!! THANK YOU!!!!


Alex June 29, 2012 at 14:42

I am making this for the third time tonight. Word spread since the last time I made it… and now I am cooking for 11 people! It even converted a non lamb eater! She is coming to have it again tonight. This is an outstanding recepie. So tasty.


Sandra April 12, 2012 at 20:51

Just the thing for a cold winter’s evening, these slow-cooked lamb shanks are meltingly tender and perfect with a huge mound of buttery mashed potato.


ammu February 2, 2012 at 04:12

hi, so dying to make this dish.. sacrilegious i know, but since alcohol is taboo in our house, any suggestions of how to go about making this without the port please??


Nicky January 29, 2012 at 03:57

Yummi, yummi! It looks sooo delicious. I have to try it :)

Nicky recently posted..


Tiffany Youngren January 15, 2012 at 10:40

Yum! I absolutely cannot wait to try this. Great pictures – thanks for the post!

Take care!

~ Tiffany

Transfer of Health
Healthy Living and Recipes


emiglia December 10, 2011 at 21:57

“Meat erotica.” LOVE.


The Dinner Belle for December 8, 2011 at 07:18

Roasted lamb shanks are one of my husband and I’s favorite dishes at our neighborhood Italian Restaurant and I have recently been thinking “hey I can make that?!”. Now with your recipe in hand, I am going to give it a go. Think that I will add some carrots as I love them cooked down and maybe serve with Israeli Couscous for a bit of a change from potatoes.

The Dinner Belle for


Purabi Naha December 8, 2011 at 02:11

The lamb shanks are looking so gorgeous and oh, so tempting! The addition of wine is surely going to take the taste of the whole dish to a greater dimension. Thanks for sharing the recipe!


Debs @ The Spanish Wok December 7, 2011 at 17:13

Yum, shanks and mash. Comfort food at its best on colder days.


christy December 7, 2011 at 16:37

simply gorgeous–i am drooling….stopping in from tastespotting


Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen December 7, 2011 at 13:04

This type of meal is a necessity in life! a necessity, i say! Looks absolutely delicious and fulfilling!


emma. our kitchen December 7, 2011 at 09:50

I love lamb shanks and these look particularly delicious! I will have to save this recipe for once our cooler months roll around again!
Merry Christmas!


renee December 7, 2011 at 09:09

It’s winter here in Canada, and I can’t think of anything better to dig into than these tasty lamb shanks. Love how they are all boozed up! Gorgeous photos – so happy I found you via TasteSpotting!


Emily December 7, 2011 at 07:04

This looks delicious! Nothing better than smelling lamb braising for hours. This would be great for a big dinner party- not a lot of work at the last minute! I will definitely be trying this soon.


Dolly December 5, 2011 at 17:29

that looks beastly.. yumm

i wouldnt mind some right now… such perfecto weather !


beti December 5, 2011 at 14:43

what a lovely dinner plate, it looks so fancy


thang@noodlies December 4, 2011 at 16:11

Wow, that looks so delcious. And the photos are amazing


Judy December 3, 2011 at 18:27

“Braises are the ultimate in meat erotica”….. haha! That’s so true but disturbing at the same time that I can’t help chortling to myself. But that aside, it’s so true, and I’m longing to make this even as I type!


Shannon December 2, 2011 at 02:30

Oh I do love Lamb Shanks and wow do these look wonderful!


The Food Sage November 29, 2011 at 23:42

Bring back winter so i can give those lamb shanks a try-out. The weather in Sydney has turned hot – again – in the past few days, but who knows about tomorrow!


Daphne November 29, 2011 at 08:08

Oh wow! Your photos of the lamb shanks are just mouth watering. Plus your description of quivering tender meat… I can just feel the passion and love you have for that lovely piece of lamb shank! ;) Good luck with the contest!


Shanshan @ Food is our religion November 27, 2011 at 10:22

The mash and lamb look amazing, I am going to add this to the Christmas feast list!


bendan November 25, 2011 at 22:29

OMG!! Nice food photos… drooling already!! =D


catty November 25, 2011 at 17:54

How perfect is this dish for the shithouse weather we’re having outside??? SO PERFECT IT HURTS! Bring me some!


Vivian - vxdollface November 25, 2011 at 14:39

Your photography&styling is definitely getting better and better! I just stared in awe at that first image, the wooden table, blotchy peachy walls etc. haha meat erotica


Sara (Belly Rumbles) November 24, 2011 at 22:10

As you know I am not a lamb lover, but omg that looks good, the boys would love to get their teeth in to that.

See photography, it is all in the photography :) Voting for you big time!


Jacq November 24, 2011 at 18:04

omg this looks amazing! you’ve totally got me craving some fall-apart lamb shanks now


Gastronomy Gal November 24, 2011 at 17:00

Loving the styling Karen. Also, so happy for you re Nuffnang awards – congrats again.


Natashia@foodonpaper November 24, 2011 at 11:43

Wow!! Amazing photos… Seeing as it’s 37 degrees in Perth, I’m going to wait for a cooler night to make this.


Nic@diningwithastud November 24, 2011 at 09:35

That sauce looks insanely good! With the weather we have had this week, its a perfect dish :D


chocolatesuze November 24, 2011 at 08:47

/quivers in jealousy


Lydia Grace November 24, 2011 at 06:52

Wow! That was so amazing to see your ‘before’ photo! Looks like my photos now! Haha! Such an inspiration! I’m going to get me a good camera early next year, I can’t wait!

Just voted for you! Good luck!


Hotly Spiced November 24, 2011 at 00:13

Your lamb shanks are photographed so well and look so good. I was thinking today that with the return of the winter weather that it’s definitely not time to stop cooking lamb shanks. Who could resist???


Rhonda (The Dainty Baker) November 23, 2011 at 19:03

OMG mouthwatering!! I know, this weather is retarded!! made me all sick now :( … if only some one could make me some of this, served in bed!! muahhaa!!

ps I voted for you and have my timer set for every 2 hrs lol!


Nicole @cookingafterfive November 23, 2011 at 16:36

This looks stunning! I’m saving this for my next rainy day.


JJ @ 84thand3rd November 23, 2011 at 15:59

I love cooking with port and these look stunning, best I keep my husband away from your blog or he will definitely want them for dinner tonight!


muppy November 23, 2011 at 15:49

Ths looks soooo good. I’m the sort of person that doesn’t complain if I cook a meal like this on a hot day!


Phuoc'n Delicious November 23, 2011 at 15:49

Your words are like poetry to me.. I’m with Rita, oooo erotica… Gotta love a big hunk of meat once a while ;p


Lisa November 23, 2011 at 15:45

Glad to be your inspiration for meat erotica ;) Your shanks look damn sexy!


sugarpuffi November 23, 2011 at 15:29

wow that lamb shank looks so delicious! oh and i voted for u every time! :D hope u win!


Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) November 23, 2011 at 13:57

Loving the moody country-style photography! And wondering whether the word “erotica” has ever graced your posts before…


Apple @Polkadotsandchopsticks November 23, 2011 at 11:02

My mouth was literally watering at the first photo. Amazing dish and gorgeous photos. Its no wonder you’re a finalist for best photography blog! Great job and I’m definitely chucking some votes your way!


Tina@foodboozeshoes November 23, 2011 at 10:27

Perfect for today’s weather!!! The whole week, even. Looks delish :P


joey@FoodiePop November 23, 2011 at 08:40

I have some lamb shanks in the freezer so I’ll give this recipe a go; looks wonderful!


Tina @ bitemeshowme November 23, 2011 at 08:12

It’s no wonder why you were put in the category for best photography blog – your photos are simply amazing. With this crazy sydney weather, I really could do with a fix of braised meat and potatoes. Mmmm.


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