Whenever you’re wondering what to make for dinner, the answer should always be braised lamb shanks. They’re good for a party, great for a potluck, perfect for a night at home. They feel special but not too fancy, and are likely not something you’re already making over and over again on repeat. With onions, mushrooms, and red wine, this deeply flavorful recipe is warming enough to get you through the winter doldrums. Serve with your favorite starch — crusty bread, polenta, rice, or egg noodles. It pairs well with anything, really. Or, if just fill up a bowl and eat as is. It’s that good.
Braised Lamb Shanks With Mushrooms
Yield 2 servings
Time 6.5 hours in the oven, or overnight in a slow cooker
2 whole lamb shanks, approximately 2 pounds or a shank per person
1 sweet onion, roughly chopped
½ pound cipollini onions, or other small onions, peeled but whole (it helps to snip the stalk end with scissors to get the peel off)
½ pound mixed mushrooms, i.e. shiitkes, portobellos, or crimini
10 cloves garlic, peeled, whole
4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, 3 fresh sage leaves, tied in a bundle
2 bay leaves (fresh) or 4 bay leaves (dried)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
½ cup red wine
4 cups chicken stock
1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
2. Salt all sides of the lamb shanks and leave at room temperature while you prepare the vegetables.
3. In a large Dutch oven, heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat. Sear the lamb shanks, 3 to 4 minutes on each side (if the fat smokes too much, turn the heat down). Remove the lamb shanks from the Dutch oven and set aside.
4. Add onions and cook 7 to 8 minutes until well colored, stirring occasionally. Add garlic cloves and cook 4 to 5 minutes until lightly colored. Add mushrooms, stir to incorporate. Add herb bundle and cook 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant.
5. Deglaze with red wine. Bring wine to a boil and reduce by half, about 8 to 10 minutes. If your Dutch oven is wide with more surface area, this process will be faster.
If using a Dutch oven:
6. Return the lamb shanks to the pot. Add stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover the Dutch oven and place in the preheated oven for 6 hours.
If using a slow cooker:
6. Place lamb shanks in the slow cooker and cover with the reduced, wine, stock, and vegetable mix. Cook on low setting overnight.