Chipotle and Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks

, from Issue #67. July, 2016
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Chipotle and Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks

Adding chipotle peppers gives these shanks a smoky, spicy sauce that goes well with any kind of creamy root mash or even soft polenta. We served ours over a parsnip and potato mash. 

Serves: 4


4 meaty lamb shanks
olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon each Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce
2 teaspoons each ground cumin and coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 chipotle peppers in sauce, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons of the sauce

1 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
sea salt and ground pepper 


Preheat the oven to 150°C fan bake.

Dry the shanks well with kitchen towels and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a little oil in a sauté pan and brown the shanks on all sides. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish.

Drain off the oil, leaving any sticky bits on the base of
the pan and add a little more fresh oil. Add the onion and carrot and season. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, both sauces, all the spices, the chipotle peppers and the sauce and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the wine and bring to the boil then cook for 5 minutes to reduce. Add the stock and boil for another 5 minutes. Add the shanks back to the pan along with the meat juices and turn to coat in the sauce. Cover with a piece of baking paper then a tight-fitting lid or foil.

Cook the shanks for about 2 hours or until very tender. Uncover and cook for a further 30 minutes to reduce the sauce.

To serve: If serving with mash, spoon into bowls and top each one with a shank and some sauce.

Serving option: Whisk together ½ cup each sour cream and thick plain yoghurt, 1 crushed clove garlic, finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime and 2 tablespoons chopped coriander. Season with salt and pepper.