braised lamb shanks with red wine, tomato and vinegar

serves 4; hands-on time 45 min; simmering time 1 hour 45 min

"The vinegar gives a bittersweet richness to the sauce. This dish goes well with vegetable mash."

make ahead
Cook the shanks up to 24 hours before serving to let the flavour develop.
To freeze, cool, then store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Instead of Artisan Malt Vinegar, you can use apple balsamic vinegar (from Waitrose) or regular malt vinegar, and add 2 tsp balsamic vinegar to each 200m1.

4 British lamb shanks (each weighing 400-450g)
25g plain flour
4 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 fat garlic cloves, crushed
2 small fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves finely chopped
Leaves from 2 large fresh thyme sprigs
4 fresh bay leaves
200m1 Artisan Malt Vinegar, or similar (see tip)
1 tbsp caster sugar
300m1 red wine
2 tbsp tomato puree
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 litre lamb or chicken stock
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
225g carrots, finely chopped
10g unsalted butter, softened
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Season the lamb shanks, then dust lightly with 5g of the flour. Heat half the oil in a deep, flameproof casserole in which the meat will fit snugly, add the shanks and brown on all sides. Lift out onto a plate.

Add the remaining oil, onions, garlic, herbs and bay leaves, then fry until the onion is lightly browned. Add the vinegar and sugar, then boil hard until reduced to a gloomy sauce. Stir in 10g of the remaining flour, add the wine and boil until reduced by about half. Stir in the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes and stock, then bring to the boil.

Return the lamb shanks to the pan and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, part-cover
with a lid and simmer for 1 hour, turning the shanks halfway through.

Stir in the celery and carrots, then simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the sauce has reduced slightly and the meat is tender.

Lift the shanks onto a plate using a slotted spoon. Cover. Take the sauce off the heat for 5 minutes, skim off any fat, then bring back to the boil and bubble for 10 minutes or until the sauce has slightly reduced.

Mix the butter with the remaining 10g flour to make a paste. Bring the sauce back to a simmer, add the paste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, or until thickened. Season to taste, return the shanks and simmer briefly until heated through. Serve garnished with parsley.

per serving 765kcals, 38.4g fat (13.4g saturated), 70.7g protein, 19.5g carbs (12.3g sugars), 0.8g salt, 5.1g fibre

wine editor's choice
A fresh, tangy, Italian red sangiovese would be a good foil for the vinegar.


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