Braised Lamb Shanks with Garlic and Port

9:00 pm on 11 June 2004

(Serves 4-6)


  • 2 tbsp flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 lamb shanks
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 4 whole heads garlic, halved crosswise
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • few drops hot pepper sauce
  • 1 & 1/2 cups full-bodied red wine
  • 1 cup port
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, stalks removed and leaves chopped
  • 2 cups beef or lamb stock


These shanks can be cooked up to two days ahead and kept chilled, or kept frozen for longer


Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Place the flour, salt and a generous grind of pepper in a clean plastic bag. Add the shanks and shake to coat lightly. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan and brown the shanks in batches.

Transfer to a large baking dish with the garlic halves. Discard any excess fat from the pan, add the tomato paste and cook for a minute or two to let the flavour develop. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a fast simmer. Stir well to lift any pan sediment, then pour over the meat.

Cover and bake for 2 hours. (If serving at once, cook for 2 & 1/2 to 3 hours or until very tender.) Cool, chill and remove any fat from the top. To reheat, bring back to room temperature, then cook for a further 1 hour at 160ºC. Serve the shanks with a garlic half and the sauce. Accompany with mashed potato and peas and beans. For variation, separate and peel the raw garlic cloves and add to the sauce before baking the shanks.

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