Glazed Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks

Deliciously tender red wine braised lamb shanks glazed with cooking juices are a chef recipe you can make at home. It’s a perfect meal for date night, or a cozy dinner for two during the winter. One bite and it might become your new favorite way to cook lamb shanks.

In a restaurant setting, braises like these red-wine lacquered lamb shanks are often reheated in a saute pan for service after cooking and cooling the night before, which makes for easy, heat-and-serve dinner if you plan ahead. The braising liquid, as chef shows here, can be reduced down to a syrupy consistency and basted over the meat, giving you a richly glazed end product, if you have the time and desire. The glazing technique is a great trick to know if you like slow cooking.

Red wine glazed lamb shanks
Slow cooked lamb shanks in red wine glaze.

If  you want to make this recipe with more than two shanks, chef recommends doing it in a roasting dish that could be set over multiple burners, or using a baster or long spoon. Each shank will serve a single, hungry person.

Lamb shanks grass fed
Lamb shanks. We also sell cut or halved shanks.

Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo

This recipe is by chef Alan Bergo. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a veteran of the culinary industry, former executive chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Founder of the website Forager Chef, he’s best known as a respected authority on Midwestern foraging. Learn more about Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at Forager Chef.

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

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Red wine glazed lamb shanks
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Glazed Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks

Delicious fork-tender lamb or goat shanks braised in a red wine sauce and glazed.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Glazing, Lamb, Shank
Servings: 2 People
Calories: 626kcal
Cost: 20


  • Deep oven-safe braising dish or Dutch oven a slow cooker can work too.
  • 1 large skillet


Braising Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup meat stock such as beef broth or lamb stock, or water in a pinch
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 small sprig of fresh rosemary
  • A few small sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Zest of ½ an orange peeled into strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter for finishing
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup salt


  • The day before cooking, mix the two quarts of water with the salt until dissolved, then add the lamb shanks and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
  • Preheat and oven to 300F. Bruise the herbs and orange peel by crushing them lightly with the back of a knife to release their aroma.

Cooking the lamb shanks

  • Remove the shanks from their brine. Discard the brine. Mix the wine, shanks, and all ingredients except the butter into a casserole or dutch oven. If you want, you can sear the shanks until browned on all sides, but it's not necessary for this recipe if you use good stock.
  • Bake, covered with parchment and a lid, until the lamb shanks are just tender, and barely give when pierced, about 2-2.5 hours or until the meat is nearly falling off the bone. Cool the lamb shanks in their liquid, then strain the liquid and reserve. Be careful not to over cook the shanks--they should not fall apart.
  • To serve the shanks, in a large pan, (10 inches should be ok) warm the lamb shanks and their braising juice and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and reduce the liquid slowly until it starts to become syrupy. Turn the heat to low, then whisk in the butter to thicken it, being careful not to break the sauce.
  • Baste the shanks as much as you can to glaze them with the juice while it reduces, which will coat them with a glossy sauce. If the sauce starts to reduce too quickly, add a little water to adjust the thickness and prevent it from breaking and getting oily.
  • To finish, remove the pan from the heat as the sauce thickens, basting constantly with the sauce. When the shanks look glazed and shiny, double check the seasoning of the sauce, adjust as needed, then serve immediately.


This is a delicious dish, but it's difficult to pull off with more than 2 shanks. It's a great thing for date night, or a dinner for two.


Serving: 1shank | Calories: 626kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 680mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 5mg