Cooking the lamb shanks low and slow makes this tough cut of meat meltingly tender. Paired with a rich red-wine gravy, it's a real winner. Short ribs or oxtails are also good candidates for this treatment. The recipe makes a generous amount of sauce, so if there is any left over, toss it with pasta or use it as the base of a chili or stew.

EatingWell Magazine, December 2021


Credit: Victor Protasio

Recipe Summary

1 hr
3 hrs 30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Position rack in lowest third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Place a roasting pan next to the stove.

  • Pat lamb shanks dry. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 3 shanks and cook, turning, until browned on all sides, about 7 minutes. Transfer to the roasting pan. Repeat in 2 more batches with the remaining shanks.

  • Reduce heat to medium and add onions, carrots and celery to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add flour and tomato paste and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Increase heat to medium-high and add wine. Cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the liquid is reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in broth, tomato puree, bay leaves, rosemary and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.

  • Pour the tomato mixture over the shanks in the roasting pan. Cover with foil and transfer to the oven. Bake until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Transfer the shanks to a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

  • Carefully place the roasting pan over two burners on the stovetop. Skim off any fat and discard the bay leaves and rosemary. Simmer the sauce over medium heat until thickened, about 4 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Serve the shanks with the sauce and garnish with parsley, if desired.

To make ahead

Refrigerate for up to 2 days.


Look for small lamb shanks, about 12 ounces each or 6 pounds total. If you can only get larger ones, remove the cooked meat from the bones and divide it among your guests.

Nutrition Facts

5 oz. lamb & 2/3 cup sauce
431 calories; fat 14g; cholesterol 156mg; sodium 499mg; carbohydrates 14g; dietary fiber 2g; protein 54g; sugars 5g; niacin equivalents 14mg; saturated fat 5g; vitamin a iu 2930IU; vitamin b6 1mg; potassium 1064mg.