Braised lamb shanks in red wine is a classic French dish that is hearty, flavorful, and perfect for a special occasion or a cozy dinner at home. The slow cooking process results in tender and succulent meat that falls off the bone, while the red wine adds depth and richness to the dish. This recipe pairs perfectly with a full-bodied red wine, such as Bordeaux or Syrah, to enhance the flavors and create a truly memorable dining experience.
To make braised lamb shanks in red wine, you will need the following ingredients:
- 4 lamb shanks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups red wine (Bordeaux or Syrah)
- 2 cups beef or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
Here’s how to prepare the dish:
Step 1: Sear the Lamb Shanks
Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-safe pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the lamb shanks and brown them on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the lamb shanks from the pot and set them aside.
Step 2: Sauté the Vegetables
In the same pot, add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Step 3: Deglaze with Red Wine
Pour the red wine into the pot and bring it to a boil. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
Step 4: Add the Remaining Ingredients
Add the beef or vegetable broth, tomato paste, and fresh rosemary sprigs to the pot. Stir well to combine.
Step 5: Braise the Lamb Shanks
Return the lamb shanks to the pot and nestle them among the vegetables and liquid. Cover the pot with a lid and transfer it to a preheated oven. Braise the lamb shanks for 2 to 2 ½ hours, or until the meat is tender and easily pulls away from the bone.
When it comes to pairing wine with braised lamb shanks, it’s best to opt for a full-bodied red wine that can stand up to the richness and flavors of the dish. Bordeaux wines, particularly those made with Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, are an excellent choice. The bold tannins and dark fruit flavors complement the savory lamb and add complexity to the overall dining experience. Alternatively, a Syrah from the Rhône Valley would also pair well with the braised lamb shanks.
It’s important to choose a wine that has enough structure and intensity to match the robust flavors of the dish. Look for wines with notes of black fruit, spice, and earthiness to complement the braised lamb shanks.
Overall, the braised lamb shanks in red wine recipe is a French classic that showcases the beauty of slow cooking and the art of wine pairing. With the right wine and a little patience, you can create a memorable dining experience that will transport you to the heart of French cuisine.