Mouthwatering Lamb Shanks Recipe with Merlot and Garlic

Are you craving a hearty and comforting meal that will warm your soul? Look no further than this delicious recipe for Merlot and Garlic Braised Lamb Shanks. This slow-cooked dish is bursting with deep flavors and tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat that makes it perfect for a cozy family dinner or elegant entertaining.

Braising lamb shanks in rich red wine with garlic, fresh herbs, and carrots creates an irresistible aroma that will make your mouth water. The dish is also versatile and can be customized with your favorite vegetables and herbs to make it your own.

The recipe may seem daunting at first glance, but have no fear. It is easy to prepare despite the long cooking time, making it an ideal option for busy weeknights or special occasions. Plus, the dish can be made ahead and reheated for stress-free meal planning.

Follow along as I guide you through the ingredient list, how-to instructions, serving suggestions, tips for perfect results, and more. Trust me, you’ll want to add this mouthwatering recipe to your go-tos for all seasons.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Lamb Shanks With Merlot and Garlic
Lamb Shanks With Merlot and Garlic

If you’re a fan of rich, hearty flavors and tender, juicy meat, then this recipe for lamb shanks braised in merlot and garlic is right up your alley. This recipe is perfect for those seeking a dish that’s both sophisticated yet easy to prepare.

Firstly, the meltingly tender lamb shanks coated in the wine sauce creates an unforgettable flavor experience in every bite. The wine plays a significant role in bringing out the intensity of the lamb flavors and adding a subtle sweetness.

Secondly, this recipe uses simple pantry ingredients such as garlic, onions, and thyme mixed with red wine that every cook has on hand. Do not underestimate how these ingredients work together to create an explosive flavor explosion that is ideal for dinner parties or holidays.

Another reason to add this recipe to your collection is its flexibility. You can use a slow cooker or oven methods by adjusting the cooking time according to convenience or taste preference. Also, feel free to experiment with different ingredients such as rosemary instead of thyme or different cuts of meat if you’re not able to find lamb shanks.

Lastly, this dish is impressive when plated, making it perfect for special guests or a romantic dinner for two. You’ll even have yummy leftover sauce to pair with other meats like grilled steak and mashed potatoes.

In conclusion, this recipe garners universal appeal; thanks to its delectable aroma and flavor profile fit for any occasion. It’s not just fancy restaurant-level cuisine but also an efficient way to feed large crowds without compromising taste. So why not try this sumptuous braised lamb shanks recipe tonight?

Ingredient List

“Fall-off-the-bone tender lamb shanks in a rich Merlot sauce”

Here is what you’ll need to make these delicious Red Wine and Garlic Braised Lamb Shanks:


  • 4 lamb shanks (about 1 pound each)


  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 Yellow Finn potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

Herbs and Spices:

  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Other Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Red Wine Sauce:

  • 2 cups red wine (Merlot or your favorite variety)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp tomato paste

These ingredients will create a rich and flavorful dish that is perfect for special occasions or whenever you want something hearty and satisfying. Most of the items in this recipe are easy to find, and they work together beautifully to create a melt-in-your-mouth meal that will leave your taste buds singing.

The Recipe How-To

“Impress your dinner guests with this hearty and flavorful dish”

Preparing the Lamb Shanks

  • First, I seasoned my lamb shanks with 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp fresh ground pepper, then coated them with 4 tbsp all-purpose flour.

  • In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, I added 3 tbsp olive oil and heated it up.

  • Once the oil is hot, I added the seasoned lamb shanks in the Dutch oven and seared them for a few minutes each side or until they’re golden brown. This will help create a flavorful crust on the meat.

Making the Braising Liquid

  • After searing the lamb shanks, I transferred them to a plate and set them aside.

  • In the same Dutch oven over medium heat, I added 1 onion, chopped, 2 garlic cloves, minced, and sautéed them for a few minutes until they turned translucent.

  • Then, I poured in 2 cups red wine (Merlot or any other rich red wine) into the Dutch oven to deglaze it. Make sure to scrape all those flavorful brown bits from the bottom of the pot using a wooden spoon.

  • Once the wine came to a boil, I reduced it to about half of its original volume before adding 4 cups chicken broth, 2 bay leaves, fresh thyme leaves (about 1 tbsp), fresh rosemary (about 1 tbsp), 1 tbsp tomato paste, and a handful of fresh parsley and mint. Stir everything together.

Braising The Lamb Shanks

  • Next, I added the seared lamb shanks back into the Dutch oven along with any accumulated juices from the plate.

  • The liquid should cover about ¾ of the lamb shanks. If not, add more chicken broth or water as needed.

  • Bring everything to a simmer, then cover it tightly either with a lid or aluminum foil.

  • Turn the heat to low, then let the lamb shanks cook for about 2 – 2 ½ hours, or until the meat is meltingly tender and removes easily from the bone with a fork.

Finishing Touches

  • Once the lamb shanks are cooked, I removed them from the pot and covered them with aluminum foil to keep them warm.

  • I also strained the remaining braising liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a pot, pressing down on any solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

  • Then, I brought it to a boil over medium-high heat and let it reduce until thickened to my desired consistency. This will create a rich red wine garlic sauce

  • Finally, I added the lamb shanks back into the pot and spooned some of the sauce over them.

  • Serve your wine-braised lamb shanks hot along with some roasted veggies or mashed potatoes, and savor every bite of this tender, juicy, flavorful, and *slow

Substitutions and Variations

“Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty with this finger-licking good recipe”

This recipe is fairly flexible and can be adjusted to fit your taste preferences or the ingredients you have on hand. Here are a few substitutions and variations you can make:

– Potatoes: While this recipe calls for a mix of Yukon gold and yellow fin potatoes, you could use any type of potato you have on hand. Additionally, you could swap out the potatoes for other root vegetables like parsnips, turnips, or carrots.

– Onion: The recipe calls for one sweet onion, but you could use other types of onions as well. Red onions or shallots would add a nice bite to the dish.

– Flour: All-purpose flour is used to thicken the sauce in this recipe, but you could also use cornstarch or arrowroot powder if you need to make the recipe gluten-free.

– Wine: This recipe calls for both red wine and Merlot specifically, but any rich red wine will work. If you don’t have wine on hand, you could substitute beef broth or stock.

– Herbs: The recipe calls for thyme and rosemary, but you could use any herbs that pair well with lamb such as oregano, sage or marjoram.

– Meat: Instead of lamb shanks, you could use lamb shoulder or even tough cuts of beef like chuck roast or brisket, which will become meltingly tender when slow braised.

Overall, don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things with this recipe. By making some small changes to the ingredients, it’s possible to create delicious variations of this Italian-inspired dish.

Serving and Pairing

“The perfect meal for a cozy night in”

This mouthwatering lamb shank recipe is perfect for a cozy dinner party with friends or a romantic date night at home. The rich, red wine sauce pairs beautifully with creamy mashed potatoes, and roasted vegetables like carrots and Yukon gold potatoes.

For the perfect wine pairing, reach for a bold and hearty merlot to compliment the deep flavors of the braised lamb shanks. Red wines from the Bordeaux region would be an excellent choice, while Italian lamb dishes can be paired with full-bodied Chianti or Barolo.

If you want something refreshing to balance out the richness of the dish, consider serving it with a simple salad made of fresh greens and a classic vinaigrette dressing. Adding an extra kick of freshness, sprinkle some freshly chopped mint, flat-leaf parsley, or thyme on top.

This recipe is also very versatile in terms of variations and substitutions. If you prefer a spicy kick, add some red pepper flakes to the wine sauce. You can add other root vegetables such as yellow fin potatoes or other sweet onions for variation. To make this recipe healthier, opt for lamb chops instead of lamb shanks or use less olive oil in during cooking.

Overall, this dish is perfect for those who enjoy slow-cooked meat meltingly tender in delicious wine sauce. It is sure to please even the most discerning palates!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Let the aromas of red wine and garlic fill your kitchen”

This wine-braised lamb shanks recipe is an ideal candidate for make-ahead meals, as it can be prepared up to two days in advance. The rich red wine sauce helps to keep the meat moist and tender. To store the braised lamb shanks, let them cool completely before transferring them to food storage containers or bags. Make sure you cover them with the liquid, which will act as a natural preservative.

This dish can be reheated in several ways – you can either reheat it in a microwave, on low heat on the stovetop, or in the oven. To reheat it in a microwave or on the stovetop, it’s essential to split the lamb shanks from the sauce and reheat them separately. It ensures that the heat penetrates evenly without overcooking.

If you’re planning to reheat it in the oven, preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C) and place your lamb shanks and sauce in an oven-safe dish covered with aluminum foil. You may need to top up some of the liquid, depending on how much has been absorbed or evaporated during refrigeration. Reheat for 15-20 minutes until warm.

This dish is versatile and pairs beautifully with mashed potatoes or root veggies like carrot or Yukon gold potatoes. It can also work well with some Italian-style dishes like polenta or pasta.

However, you choose to store and reheat this wine-braised lamb shank recipe; it will still retain its deep and complex flavors that make this dish a showstopper.

Tips for Perfect Results

“Each bite is a burst of savory and succulent flavors”

To achieve the perfect wine-braised lamb shanks, it is important to take note of some tips that will make this recipe a sure success. Here are some helpful tips to achieve a delicious and tender braised lamb shanks with merlot and garlic:

First, let the meat rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking, as lamb shanks cook better when they are at room temperature. Secondly, dredge the lamb shanks in all-purpose flour to help brown the meat and thicken the sauce.

It is also crucial to use a good quality red wine that you would actually drink, such as merlot or any other rich red wine to enhance the flavor of the lamb. Try not to use low-quality wine, as it can spoil the taste of your dish.

For best results, after browning the vegetables, deglaze the pan with wine before adding back the browned meat, herbs and covered liquid. This will release all of those delicious flavors from the bottom of the pan.

When cooking lamb shanks in a slow-cooker or Dutch oven, make sure that they are fully covered with liquid to avoid drying out during cooking. Slow-braised lamb shanks should be meltingly tender after cooking and should easily fall off the bone.

Lastly, after removing lamb shanks from heat source let them rest for 10-15 minutes so that juices settle back into meat fibers resulting soft and juicy steamed meat cuts.

By following these simple tips and tricks, you can ensure that your braised lamb shanks with merlot and garlic will come out perfectly every time.


As you prepare to replicate this lamb shanks recipe, you may come across a few questions or uncertainties about the ingredients, cooking process, or services. Here in the FAQ section, we’ve compiled and answered some of the most common inquiries associated with this recipe. So, let’s dive right into it!

What is the best red wine to use for lamb shanks?

When it comes to pairing wine with lamb shanks, it’s crucial to choose a wine that can hold up against the meat’s robust and gamey flavor. A bold and juicy cabernet sauvignon, a smooth and spicy grenache, or a rich and full-bodied shiraz are excellent choices. If you’re in the mood for something a bit more exotic, try considering a carménère, nero d’Avola, or primitivo to complement the dish.

Does red wine go with lamb shanks?

When it comes to pairing wine with Braised Lamb Shanks, one should opt for red wines known for their richness and body. The likes of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Northern Rhône Syrah, Amarone, Bordeaux, and Shiraz make an excellent match owing to their full-bodied and robust nature. That is because the lamb shank carries a gamey taste that is more pronounced than other lamb cuts like the loin or chops.

Should lamb shanks be covered in liquid?

When it comes to slow cooking lamb shanks, they don’t need to be submerged entirely in liquid. However, it’s essential to ensure they aren’t dry roasted, and adding some liquid is necessary to allow steam to cook the shanks to perfection. A slow cooker will provide enough steam to cook the lamb shanks even if they are not fully submerged in liquid.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this slow-cooked lamb shanks with merlot and garlic recipe is perfect for those who are looking for a hearty and flavorful meal. The meltingly tender meat, coupled with the rich red wine sauce, makes for a truly satisfying main course that’s perfect for entertaining or a cozy night in.

This recipe can be easily adapted to suit different preferences- substitute ingredients like potatoes or onions with your preferred veggies to make it your own. Additionally, the dish can be served with any number of sides like mashed potatoes, crusty bread or a simple side salad.

So why not try this delicious and succulent lamb shanks red wine recipe today and impress your guests with this delectable classic? With its robust flavor profile and tender texture, it’s sure to become a dinner party staple in no time at all!

Lamb Shanks With Merlot and Garlic

Lamb Shanks With Merlot and Garlic Recipe

Lamb shanks become tender and juicy when braised in a good Pacific Northwest Merlot. If your pot is smaller than 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter, ask your butcher to crack the bones so the shanks will fit. Serve with lots of fresh crusty bread to mop up the sauce. From The Pacific Northwest (Williams-Sonoma New American Cooking) by Jean Galton.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Calories 1446.7 kcal


  • 4 lbs meaty lamb shanks (four, 3/4 to 1 lb. each)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large walla walla onions or 1 large other sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 lb yukon gold potatoes or 1 lb yellow fin potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 lb carrot, peeled, split lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic, bulbs cloves separated and peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied in a bundle
  • 1 cup merlot
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (Italian)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped of fresh mint


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Trim off any excess fat from the lamb shanks.
  • Sprinkle the shanks with the salt and pepper.
  • Spread the flour on a plate and turn the shanks in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  • In a large, heavy ovenproof pot over high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  • Add the shanks (in batches, if necessary) and brown well on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the shanks to a plate.
  • Wipe out the pot.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 3-4 minutes.
  • Return the shanks to the pot along with the potatoes, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, wine, and stock.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to the oven.
  • Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and continue to bake until the Iamb is very tender, about 30 minutes longer.
  • Transfer the shanks to a platter.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes and carrots to the platter.
  • Cover and keep warm.
  • Using a large spoon, skim off any fat from the surface of the sauce remaining in the pot.
  • Lift out and discard the bay leaves and the thyme.
  • Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Cook the sauce until it reduces and is lightly thickened, 3-5 minutes.
  • Pour the sauce around the meat.
  • Sprinkle the meat and vegetables with the parsley and mint.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 892gCalories: 1446.7kcalCarbohydrates: 57.4gProtein: 127.7gFat: 71.3gSaturated Fat: 25.3gCholesterol: 409.8mgSodium: 1055.5mgFiber: 6.8gSugar: 9.4g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Lamb/Sheep, Meat
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