Are you looking for a delicious and flavourful lamb shank recipe without wine? Most recipes for braised lamb shanks call for either red or white wine as part of the braising liquid. This can add a touch of acidity and complexity to your sauce and give a great depth of flavour. But is wine necessary? Can you make incredible slow-cooked lamb shanks without wine? It turns out you can.
I spent some time developing a recipe that resulted in bright, complex and vibrant flavours while not detracting from the delicious flavour of the lamb and also not requiring any wine. Using a mixture of spices, umami boosters and other techniques, these braised lamb shanks are sure to be a hit whenever you decide to serve them.
So if you’re searching for a great lamb shank recipe without wine, keep reading.
Lamb Shank Recipe Without Wine
Before we get started with anything, you need to preheat your oven to 150°C/300°F. Then set a large, heavy Dutch oven over high heat. Add about a tablespoon of neutral oil and heat it until it is barely smoking.
Meanwhile, generously season your lamb shanks with salt and pepper.
Place them in the pot being careful not to overcrowd and sear them until they’re deeply golden brown on one side before flipping and searing on the other side. You’re likely going to need to do this in batches so as not to overcrowd the pot.
Once you’ve seared all of your lamb shanks (plan for about five minutes per side), remove them from the pot and set them aside on a plate for later. Reduce the heat to medium.
Now, add your anchovies, sliced shallot and garlic. I like using shallots in this recipe because I love the mellow flavour they lend to the dish, however, go ahead and use a thinly sliced yellow onion if you don’t have shallots. It’s really not a big deal.
Sautee the shallots and garlic until they soften quite a bit and the anchovies are mostly dissolved, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot as they release their moisture – about five minutes or so.
Using anchovies in this lamb shank recipe without wine is going to add a complex umami flavour rather than any fishiness. You can leave them out, however, the flavour will likely fall a bit flat. They really do add something special to the dish, which is why I call for them here and in my other stews – like my beef stew recipe.
Once your shallots have softened, add your spices. I call for whole fennel seeds, ground cumin, ground coriander seed and chili flakes for a little bit of heat. All of these add a delicious, bright and unique flavour to the lamb shanks that make it taste a lot lighter than some more traditional lamb shank recipes — especially ones that call for red wine.
Cook the spices just until they get very fragrant before adding your tomato paste. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it begins to caramelize a bit, it turns a bit darker red and gets slightly sticky – about 2 minutes or so.
This step helps cook out the tinny flavour that can some in tomato paste and helps to build a more complex flavour.
Now, sprinkle over just a bit of flour. This will help to thicken the sauce slightly. I like to use flour rather than corn starch as it has more staying power. Using corn starch will mean, when it comes to reheating the next day (which you may do if you have some leftovers!), the sauce will be runny again. A sauce thickened with flour won’t have this problem.
Cook the flour for another two minutes or so, just to get the raw flour flavour cooked out. Deglaze the pot with some fish sauce and apple cider vinegar.
The fish sauce lends the same quality as the anchovies do (it will not make the lamb shanks fishy, I promise) and the vinegar adds a lovely touch of acidity that is necessary when making lamb shanks without wine. This is such a fantastic ingredient and it really shouldn’t be reserved for simply stir fry sauces.
Return the lamb to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Then add a couple of halved carrots and ribs of celery (these will lend all of their flavour to the sauce while braising and we will remove them at the end).
Add a few sprigs of thyme (tied together with some butcher’s twine for easy removal), a couple of bay leaves and, finally, a few strips of lemon zest removed with a vegetable peeler.
Then, pour some chicken stock over the lamb. Bring everything up to a gentle simmer before partially covering the pot. Transfer the pot to the oven.
Plan to cook the lamb shanks for about three hours, or until the meat is incredibly tender and nearly falls off the bone. Check on the shanks about halfway through and flip them over if they aren’t fully covered by the braising liquid.
Once the shanks are cooked, remove the pot from the oven. Remove the lamb shanks and set them on a plate. Discard the carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme and lemon zest.
Set the pot over medium heat and bring the liquid to a vigorous simmer. Let it simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes, just to reduce and thicken the sauce slightly.
Once the sauce is where you like it, add the lamb shanks back into the pot to coat them in the sauce. Then, all you need to do is serve! This dish goes very well over a side of mashed potatoes or polenta or alongside a crisp broccoli salad.
- 4 lamb shanks
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 25g flour
- 30ml (2 tablespoons) apple cider vinegar
- 30ml (2 tablespoons) fish sauce
- 2 large carrots, halved
- 3 ribs celery, halved
- 6-8 sprigs thyme, tied in a bouquet garnis
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 strips lemon zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
- 750ml (3 cups) chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F. Heat one tablespoon of neutral oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat until just smoking.
- Season the lamb shanks generously with salt and pepper and lay them in the pot, being careful not to overcrowd -- you may have to work in batches. Sear on one side until deeply golden brown before flipping and repeating on the other side, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the pot and set aside on a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallots, garlic and anchovies along with a generous pinch of salt. Cook until the shallots begin to soften and the anchovies are mostly dissolved, about 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot as the shallots release their moisture.
- Add the cumin, fennel, coriander and chili flakes. Cook until very fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste and cook until the paste darkens and gets sticky, about 2 minutes longer. Sprinkle the flour over the tomato paste mixture and cook for another 2 minutes or so.
- Pour over the vinegar and fish sauce and cook until it is slightly reduced, only about 30 seconds to one minute.
- Return the lamb shanks to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Add the carrots, celery, thyme, bay leaves and lemon zest. Pour over the chicken stock,
- Bring the mixture up to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for about 3 hours or until the lamb is incredibly tender and almost falling off the bone, flipping the lamb shanks over once halfway through.
- Remove the pot from the oven. Transfer the lamb shanks to a plate and set aside. Remove the carrots, celery, thyme, bay leaves and lemon zest from the pot and discard.
- Put the pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat and allow the sauce to simmer vigorously for 10-15 minutes, just until it reduces enough to thicken slightly. Return the shanks to the pot to coat in the sauce. Portion out and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 432Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 1146mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 33g
Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
If you’re wondering how to make delicious, flavourful lamb shanks without wine, you’ve come to the right place with this recipe. This dish is incredibly complex and flavourful and you won’t miss the addition of any sort of alcohol.
Are you looking for a lamb shank recipe without wine? Have any questions about this recipe? Let me know in the comments!