Can You Prepare a Gourmet Rosemary Lamb Shank with a Red Wine Jus?

April 8, 2024

The answer is an enthusiastic yes! Preparing a gourmet rosemary lamb shank with a red wine jus is not as daunting as it may seem. This dish, often seen gracing the tables in top-tier restaurants, can be replicated in your very own kitchen. By mastering the art of braising, understanding the balance of flavors, and the importance of time in cooking, you’ll be serving up a mouth-watering main course that will impress even the most discerning of diners. Whether it’s for a special occasion or just to spice up your weeknight menu, this dish delivers.

The Art of Braising Lamb Shanks

Braising is a cooking method often used to tenderize tougher cuts of meat, like a lamb shank. The shank is the lower portion of the lamb’s leg, a muscle that gets a lot of exercise, resulting in a cut of meat that can be tough if not cooked properly. But when braised, a lamb shank turns into a tender, flavorful dish that’s simply irresistible.

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To braise a lamb shank, you first need to sear the meat. This locks in the juices and adds a depth of flavor that simply slow cooking in the oven cannot achieve. Heat a generous amount of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or a Dutch oven, and add the lamb shanks. Sear each side for about 5 minutes, until they develop a beautiful golden crust.

After searing, the next step is to prepare the braising liquid. This is where the ‘wine’ component of our recipe comes in. Red wine is a classic choice for braising lamb shanks, as its robust flavor complements the meat perfectly.

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Preparing the Red Wine Braising Sauce

Red wine not only gives the meat a rich taste, but it also helps to break down the tougher fibers in the lamb shank, resulting in a more tender dish. It’s important to use a wine you actually enjoy drinking, as the flavor will concentrate as it cooks. For this recipe, a full-bodied red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot is a great choice.

In the same pot you used to sear the lamb, add minced garlic and chopped onions, cooking until they are soft and fragrant. Then pour in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it and lift off any stuck bits of meat. This process adds a lot of flavor to the braising liquid.

Next, add in your fresh rosemary, along with other herbs if you wish. Thyme and bay leaves work well. Let this mixture simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors meld together before returning the lamb shanks to the pot.

Slow Cooking the Lamb in the Oven

This is where patience comes into play. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in a preheated oven at a low temperature, around 275 degrees Fahrenheit, for about two hours. This slow, gentle cooking process allows the lamb shanks to soak up all the flavors of the wine and herbs, and also gives the tough fibers time to break down and soften.

After two hours, check the lamb. It should be tender enough to pull apart with a fork. If not, return it to the oven for a while longer. Remember, the key to a perfect lamb shank is patience. Don’t rush this step!

Once the lamb is tender, remove it from the oven. But we’re not done yet. The sauce that’s left in the pot is rich and flavorful, and it would be a shame to waste it. This is where we create our red wine jus.

Finishing the Dish with a Red Wine Jus

Take the pot with the braising liquid and put it back on the stove. Simmer it until it reduces by about half. This will intensify the flavors and thicken the sauce somewhat. If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can strain it to remove the onions and any bits of herbs.

The final step is to taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Add salt and pepper as needed, or perhaps a little more wine if the flavor isn’t as strong as you like. Once you’re satisfied with the flavor, spoon the sauce over the lamb shanks.

And there you have it, a gourmet rosemary lamb shank with a red wine jus. Enjoy the fruits of your labor with a glass of the same wine used in the recipe, and savor the tender, flavorful meat that simply falls off the bone. It’s a culinary achievement to be proud of, and a dish that will never fail to impress.

Pairing Sides With the Lamb

A well-cooked lamb shank is a delight in itself, but pairing it with the right side dishes can enhance your dining experience. Mashed potatoes, with their creamy texture, serve as an excellent base for the flavorful, slow-cooked lamb shank. The potatoes do a great job of soaking up the red wine jus, making every bite a burst of flavor.

Begin by boiling peeled and quartered potatoes until they are soft. Drain them and return them to the pot, adding a generous amount of butter and cream. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until they are smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Another fantastic accompaniment to your lamb shank is a simple, fresh salad. The crisp, cool greens provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the lamb and mashed potatoes. Toss together a mix of your favorite salad greens, adding some thinly sliced red onion and cherry tomatoes for color and extra flavor. Drizzle with a simple vinaigrette made from olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Serving the Lamb Shank

With your sides prepared and your lamb shanks slow-cooked to perfection, it’s time for the pièce de résistance – serving the lamb shank. Arrange a generous spoonful of mashed potatoes on each plate. Place the slow-cooked lamb shank on top of the potatoes, and spoon over some of the red wine jus.

The presentation is part of the experience when it comes to gourmet cooking. Garnishing your plate can add visual appeal. Sprinkle a bit of freshly chopped parsley on top of the red wine jus and add a sprig of rosemary for a touch of elegance.


The braised lamb shank with red wine jus is a classic gourmet dish that you can bring to life in your own kitchen. Armed with some patience and essential cooking skills, you can turn a tough cut of meat into a tender, flavorful masterpiece.

The rich, hearty flavors of the rosemary-infused lamb shank, coupled with a luscious red wine jus and served with creamy mashed potatoes and a crisp salad, make for a meal that is both sophisticated and comforting. Whether you’re treating yourself or looking to impress dinner guests, this slow-cooked lamb shank recipe is sure to be a hit.

So, the next time you want to make a gourmet meal at home, don’t hesitate to try your hand at this braised lamb shank recipe. Cooking is an art, and with practice, anyone can master it. Bon appétit!