European, Tasting

It’s slow cooked season: recipe for lamb shanks braised in Sangiovese

Winter is the time to take everything slowly. Slow walks along the beach, slow to get dressed on weekend mornings, slow read of the paper and slow cooked food. It’s my favourite time of year for cooking because the frantic, last minute prepping of summer food is replaced with melt-in-your-mouth one pot wonders, with no worry about having to watch over the pot every couple of minutes.

This recipe ticks all the boxes. I haven’t used a recipe from a book. That’s the beauty of slow cooking. You don’t need to. Follow a few basic principles (right cut of meat, inject flavour into the sauce and don’t rush it) and you can’t go wrong. It’s the old adage – the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. Slow cooking is food alchemy.

The recipe is below along with a few photos of the food and us enjoying our new backgarden.

Lamb shanks slow braised in Sangiovese, served with pasta

4 x lamb shanks

Plain flour to dust the lamb

Olive oil

1 x rasher of bacon or proscuitto

1 x carrot, stick of celery and onion, all finely diced

2 cloves of garlic

6 x French shallots

Mix of herbs, tied with butcher’s twine (I used rosemary, bay and parsley)

1 x large tin of tomatoes

Enough red wine (don’t get cheap plonk, it’s not worth it. I went for Sangiovese) to cover the meat in a casserole dish (needs a tight fitting lid and should be big enough to hold the meat nice and snugly)


  1. Dust the shanks in plain flour. Knock off any excess flour.
  2. Heat oil in the casserole dish on a fairly high heat.
  3. Brown the shanks. Set aside for later
  4. Brown the bacon/proscuitto. Set aside.
  5. Lower heat and add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook until softened (probably about ten minutes)
  6. Add the chopped garlic and cook for a minute or so
  7. Add any excess flour to the cooked vegetables and stir through (this will help thicken the sauce)
  8. Add the lamb shanks, bacon, herbs, tomatoes and enough wine to cover the meat (around half a bottle, depending on the size of your casserole dish). Season to taste.
  9. Bring liquid to the boil, turn heat down to a simmer and add the lid. Cook on a low heat for at least a couple of hours.
  10. Check the meat. When it falls off the bone without any effort it’s done. At this point I take the bones out, remove the lid and cook for another hour or until the sauce has reduced or thickened.
  11. Serve with pasta, and finish with decent parmesan and chopped parsley. I tried to make handmade parpardelle but I made a right pigs ear of the dough. I used the wrong flour. So I had to go with dried penne – it’s all we had.

16 thoughts on “It’s slow cooked season: recipe for lamb shanks braised in Sangiovese

  1. I like to slow cook lamb shanks. My attempt is here
    I thought I was a hero with the 4 to 5 hours until I met a guy in the butchers who announced that he cooked his in a bottle of wine and a bottle of port for 7 to 8 hours. When the weather gets cold again, I’ll give it a go.

    • Isn’t it amazing how the seasons change the way you cook. I love summer and the freshness, but I really love slow cooked food. So unfussy, so unstressful and so tasty. Winter here is pretty mild, but it can feel chilly. Thanks for the comment!

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  3. This looks so good! I imagine it would be easy to pop in the oven too. I made lamb shanks recently but I really need to make them again. Nothing quite like slow cooked lamb on a winter’s night.

    • Definitely, throw it in the oven for a few hours and forget about it. The best type of slow cooking. I’ve just been on to your blog and I’m now a follower.

      • Thank you, yours is pretty cool to sir! I love your top 6 and your perspiring section….I wish I could post about my running, but to tell you the truth, I have a love hate relationship with it. Used to enjoy biking much more when I lived in Miami, here in Barcelona it’s pretty hard to get a good bike ride in. Too hilly and I’m too lazy + they stole my mountain bike. :(

      • I have a love hate relationship with running too! Hate it when I’m doing it, love it when it’s finished. It’s pain on legs for me. I am much more suited to cycling methinks.

      • Hahahaha! Same here….and I get jealous when I see people running and it looks like they’re in a commercial. So not me. I must look like I am struggling all the time!

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