Super tender, perfectly spiced braised lamb shanks and vegetables in a rich red wine sauce. Cooking lamb shanks is easier than you might think. Simply season, sear, and braise! It's the perfect lamb shank recipe for a small gathering! A dry red wine is your best bet for the red wine sauce. (Merlot is my favorite here, but a Cabernet Sauvignon would work well, too.) Serve rosemary lamb shanks with couscous, Lebanese rice, or pita to soak up all the delicious sauce. Start this rich, meaty dinner with a big bright salad like arugula salad or white bean salad.
In a small bowl, add all the spice mix ingredients and mix to combine.
Pat the lamb shanks dry and season with the spice mix on all sides.
In a large Dutch oven pot like this one, heat 2 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the lamb shanks on all sides (about 8 mins or so). Transfer the lamb shanks to a large tray or bowl for now. Carefully dispose of extra fat in a separate heat-safe bowl, and return the pot to heat.
Now add the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes. Saute for 5-7 minutes on medium-high, or until the vegetables gain some color. Add red wine, scrape the pot of brown bits. Cook briefly so that the wine reduces a bit.
Add the broth, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, thyme, and rosemary. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Return lamb shanks back to the pot; press down to submerge. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn heat off.
Cover the pot and transfer to the 350 degrees F-heated oven. Cook in the oven for 2 ½ hours (It's a good idea to check periodically through cooking just in case you need to add a little more liquid. When the shanks finish cooking, the liquid will have reduced to about ⅓ of what it was when you started.)
While the lamb shanks are cooking, prepare rice according to this recipe, or prepare 2-3 cups of orzo pasta according to package instructions.
Serve the lamb shanks hot with a little of the veggies and braising sauce on top of rice or orzo pasta. You might also like to prepare a side salad like this 3-ingredient Mediterranean salad or Fattoush. Enjoy!
What wine to use in the red wine sauce? Dry red wine works best. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are good options. If you do not use alcohol in your cooking, substitute an equal amount of beef broth.
Slow cooker lamb shanks: Follow the recipe instructions for seasoning and browning the lamb. Transfer the lamb to a large slow cooker. Add the vegetables, then add 1 cup wine (instead of 2), add broth and remaining ingredients. Cover the slow cooker. Set on Low and cook for 8 hours or on High and cook for 5 to 6 hours or until the shanks are fully cooked to fall-apart tender.
Make-ahead tips: Chop up the vegetables and store them separately in the fridge. You can also make braised lamb shanks completely a night in advance.
Leftovers and storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat lamb and vegetables in a 350 degrees F heated oven in an oven-safe pot for about 30 minutes. If the sauce has reduced too much, add a little more beef broth.
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