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Baked Lamb Shanks with Mashed Potatoes

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Baked Lamb Shanks with Mashed Potatoes

It’s quite cold these few days in Brisbane. The weather reminds me of my favourite dish, the baked lamb shanks. The meat is really tender, coating with rich sauce, that would literally fall off the bone and melt in my mouth. We like to serve the lamb shanks with an Italian seasoning, gremolata that adds extra flavours to the meat. What a comfort food in chilling days!

  • 2 lamb shanks, about 900g
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3 stalks rosemary
  • 4 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups (500ml) dry red wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 strip orange zest, 1x3 inch
  • a dash of olive oil (or cooking oil)
Ingredients of mashed potatoes:
  • 2 potatoes
  • butter, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • hot milk, to taste
Ingredients of Gremolata:
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
Baked Lamb Shanks Procedures

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (356F). Place rack in the middle.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat on a frying pan. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Add them to the pan and cook until all sides are lightly golden, about 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer lamb shanks to a large casserole, covered.
  3. Heat some oil in the same frying pan to sauté onion, celery, carrot and rosemary over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all ingredients soften and lightly brown. Add tomato paste and combine well. Cook for another 2 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add red wine and boil over high heat about 10 to 15 minutes. Cook until liquid thickens.
  4. Return lamb shanks to pan. Add orange zest and chicken stock. Bring to boil, then transfer into the casserole. The lamb should be covered by sauce. Cover and bake for at least 2 hours, until lamb softens, turning lamb after 1 hour if necessary.
  5. While baking lamb, peel potatoes and roughly chop into chunks. Cook in boiling water for 20 minutes, or until softened. Drain well. Place in a large bowl and let rest for a while. Mash potatoes and season with salt, butter, pepper and milk to taste.

    Mashed Potatoes

  6. In another small bowl, combine crushed garlic, parsley and lemon zest. That’s unique “gremolata”, really yummy to go with hot lamb shanks.


  7. When the lamb shanks are ready, discard rosemary. Serve with mash and gremolata.


  1. What a scrumptious and hearty dish! I miss winter!

  2. To Kenny,
    Thanks. It's my comfort food in Aussie winters.

  3. I need to cook more with lamb, this dish looks incredible,

  4. To oysterCulture,
    This dish is our family's favourite. Highly recommend it.

  5. Hi Christine,

    Thank you for all your hard work putting recipes after recipes for us. I've tried uncountable recipes of yours. Although some fails at first attempt, usually second attempt is successful. I'm rather stubborn and hate giving up. So usually I'll make sure I succeed in the second trial cause can't afford a third one cause there's too much menus of yours to try it out and I'm way behind.

    Can you please advice me if the wine is omitted out what can I substitute with? My husband is not able to consume any alcohol due to health reason.

    Keep up the good work. Thank you.


    1. Hi Christina,

      Thanks for your love of my recipes.

      Love your attitude of trying your best and making good dishes.

      As for the red wine, you won't taste any alcohol at all after such a long cooking time as it's totally boiled away. Only its sweetness is left.

  6. Hi Christine,

    Thank you for your response and also thank you for your great passion in doing what you are doing cause it makes a tremendous difference in the end result. You deserves all the good things from the labour of all your hard work.

    Your answer to my question makes me think back, I've read some where about when we cook the wine the alcohol evaporates away. Is that what you meant?

    I've seen that most of your Chinese cooking recipes, Shao Xing wine is something that you never seems to miss out (I've always been skipping this item). Does that mean the alcohol content from this wine will also be evaporates out? For the purpose of marinating will the content of alcohol evaporates out when it's being cook later?

    I've been always very careful preparing food at home for my husband's bad shape of liver. Making buying ingredients with care as well. Not only we stopped even the slightest sip of alcohol for a decade already, no more Tiramisu and certain Japanese dishes for me. There is no fun eating anything alone, taste different.

    After writing to you about this challenge yesterday, I forgot all about my toddler's diet.

    Thanks in advance again for all your time. I hope as my daughter continues to grow, she'll be able to enjoy good, quality, authentic food in a foreign land like your daughter does from you.


    1. Hi Christina,

      Thanks for your kind words.

      Yes, exactly. The alcohol used in this slow-cooked dish, cooked for such a long time, will evaporate away.

      I appreciate that you’re so mindful when cooking for your family. It’s always a good practice.
      For making Chinese stir-fry dishes, I often use a bit of wine to marinate the meat because it helps to get rid of the smell and add an aroma into it. It depends on the cooking time and the heat level, the stir-fry dishes might be left with a trace of alcohol. Considering your husband’s health situation, it’s better to skip it when making stir-fry dishes or other dishes that don’t require long-cooking time. But I think you better consult your doctor first.

  7. Hi Christine,
    If I'm cooking 6 lamb shanks, do I just double the recipe? Does that mean I have to use 4 cups of red wine and 6 cups of chicken stock?

    Can I cook this baked lamb shank the night before and reheat in the oven on the day of serving?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Lyn,

      Basically, you need enough red wine and chicken stock to cover all the lamb shanks while baking. You may double or triple all the ingredients so that they are all in proportion giving out lots of flavours. You would definitely like more sauce to go with the tender lamb shanks.