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Tuscan braised lamb shanks

  • 15 minutes, marinating time: 4 hours or overnight
  • 2-2½ hours
  • 4-6
Tuscan braised lamb shanks

One of winter's must-have dishes, serve this with a bowl of steaming mashed potatoes.


  • 6 lamb shanks
  • 2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 cups dried figs, halved
  • 12 black olives
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed but not peeled
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary fronds or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 750 millilitre bottle red wine
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock


  1. In a deep dish, put the lamb shanks, onions, celery, figs, olives, garlic, capers, rosemary and pepper. Pour over the wine. Cover and marinate in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours. Turn the shanks once or twice in the marinade.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Remove the shanks from the marinade, reserving the marinade and ingredients. Heat a dash of oil in a heavy-based frying pan and brown the shanks on all sides. Transfer to a casserole.
  3. Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir over a moderate heat until it becomes quite a deep reddish-brown.
  4. Stir in the stock and bring slowly to the boil to make a thick sauce before pouring over the lamb shanks.
  5. Add the reserved marinade ingredients and wine to the casserole. Cover and cook in the preheated oven for 2-2½ hours until the meat is almost falling off the bone. Serve with roughly mashed potatoes and fresh greens.

Cooks Tips

- Choose a good-quality wine for this dish as any off flavours in wine are enhanced on heating. Try a merlot or merlot mix. - Brown the lamb shanks well to achieve deep caramelised flavours in the casserole. - If there any any shanks left over, remove the meat from the bones, chop roughly, turn to the sauce and use to make a pie, topping with mashed potato or pastry.

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