Red Wine-Braised Lamb Shanks


Jeremy Silansky uses maple syrup, Vermont's most famous export, to glaze root vegetables, employing a novel (and simple) technique: He reduces the maple glaze in a small skillet, then tosses it with the roasted vegetables right before serving. He likes to serve the lamb shanks with creamy polenta made from local cornmeal and a local cheese: Thistle Hill Farm's complex, nutty Tarentaise. More Lamb Recipes

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Photo: © Con Poulous
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Four 1-pound lamb shanks

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 4 medium carrots, sliced 1/4 thick

  • 4 medium celery ribs, sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped

  • One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine

  • 1 cup water

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 12 peppercorns

  • Maple-Glazed Root Vegetables, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper and brown them on 3 sides over moderately high heat, about 4 minutes per side. Add the garlic, carrots, celery and onion to the casserole. Add the red wine and boil for 3 minutes. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Add the bay leaves and peppercorns. Cover the casserole tightly and transfer to the oven. Braise the lamb shanks, turning once, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until very tender.

  2. Transfer the lamb shanks to an ovenproof serving dish. Using a fine sieve, strain the braising liquid into a medium saucepan, pressing on the solids. Boil the braising liquid over high heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and pour about 1/2 cup over the lamb shanks; keep the remaining sauce warm. Cover the lamb shanks with foil and reheat in the oven for about 10 minutes. Serve the lamb shanks with the remaining sauce, and the Maple-Glazed Root Vegetables.

Make Ahead

The braised lamb shanks can be refrigerated in their sauce overnight. Cover and reheat in a 350° oven for 30 minutes, or until warm.

Suggested Pairing

The peppery spice of good California Syrah is a classic match for meaty lamb dishes like these wine-braised shanks.

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