Instant Pot lamb shanks with red wine & rosemary

· · ·
Lamb shanks with red wine, rosemary & bay leaves in the Instant Pot

Lamb shanks braised in red wine and rosemary is a classic and much-loved Mediterranean dish that combines the succulent and tender meat of lamb shanks with the rich, deep flavours of red wine and aromatic fresh rosemary. This dish is perfect for a cosy winter’s dinner at home, and the best part is that it can be made in an Instant Pot for a quick and easy meal.

Cooking lamb shanks normally takes hours in the oven. I made them in my Instant Pot and they cooked to a fall-off-the-bone and delicious texture in 75 minutes total with only 50 minutes of high-pressure cooking time.

I constantly seem to be running out of time, so my Instant Pot is so helpful. Especially for slow-braised dishes like this.

I didn’t want to deviate too much from classic flavours here. I absolutely love red wine, rosemary, bay leaves and garlic with lamb. This recipe is a classic and a keeper.

What are lamb shanks?

Lamb shanks are a cut of meat that comes from the lower leg of the lamb, and they are known for their tender, juicy meat that falls off the bone when cooked properly. They are a tougher cut of meat that requires slow cooking to achieve the perfect texture and flavour, making them ideal for braising in a delicious liquid.

Why this recipe works

Red wine is a classic ingredient in braised lamb dishes, and it adds depth and complexity to the flavour profile of the lamb shanks. The tannins in the wine help to break down the meat fibres, making it even more tender, while the fruity notes of the wine complement the richness of the lamb.

I like to use a full-bodied wine here like a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Shiraz (or a blend). If you don’t want to use alcohol, substitute with a zero-alcohol red wine. There really is no other substitute for the red wine flavour in this dish as it’s such a key component. 

Rosemary is a herb that is commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine, and it pairs perfectly with lamb. Its pungent and slightly piney flavour adds a fresh and aromatic note to the dish, balancing out the richness of the lamb and red wine.

Autumn and with that Easter, are my favourite times of year in Cape Town. I love the cooler temperatures and the soft light that manages to creep around corners with warmer hues. I want to get into the Winelands to see the vineyards and trees turn auburn and cling to the last little bit of pleasing warmth before the rains come.

I’m ready to start embracing red wine next to the fire and get busy with more comforting food like this list of all the recipes you will need for Autumn.

A few recipes for your Easter Feasting

How to make Instant Pot lamb shanks with red wine & rosemary

 You can either marinade the lamb shanks in the garlic, rosemary, bay leaves and olive oil overnight, or make this straight up. The flavour really penetrates the meat overnight so this is first prize.

Rub the lamb shanks with olive oil and the crushed garlic and season well with salt and Pepper. Lay these on a small tray lined with half the rosemary and bay leaves. Top the remainder of the rosemary and bay leaves, cover tightly with cling film and leave them in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to cook, scrape all the herbs and garlic off the shanks.

Lamb shanks with red wine, rosemary & bay leaves

Start by browning the lamb shanks in olive oil to seal in the juices and create a crispy outer layer. Turn on the Instant Pot and set it to the sauté function. Add the olive oil and let it heat up. Add the lamb shanks to the Instant Pot and brown them on all sides for 5-6 minutes. Remove the lamb shanks and set them aside.

Lamb shanks with red wine, rosemary & bay leaves in the Instant Pot

Keeping the Instant Pot set to sauté function, add the onions, carrot and celery and cook until softened – about 6 – 8 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent them from going brown.

Lamb shanks with red wine, rosemary & bay leaves in the Instant Pot

Add the tomato paste and the crushed garlic (either scraped off the overnight marinade or what you have crushed) and the bay leaves and cook for about a minute.

As it starts to stock, add the red wine and deglaze the bowl. Allow this to cook down for about 6 minutes until it has reduced by three-quarters.

Lamb shanks with red wine, rosemary & bay leaves in the Instant Pot

Add the tomatoes, mix and adjust the seasoning. You will need to add a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper, and add the rosemary stalks and chopped parsley.

Lamb shanks with red wine, rosemary & bay leaves in the Instant Pot

Add the browned lamb shanks back in along with the beef stock. Arrange them so that they are as submerged in the liquid as possible. Close and set the vent to SEAL.

Set the Instant Pot to Manual pressure cook HIGH (take off the keep warm function) and set it for 50 minutes.

Lamb shanks with red wine, rosemary & bay leaves in the Instant Pot

Once the cooking time is up, let the Instant Pot naturally release pressure for 15 minutes. Then, carefully release any remaining pressure manually.

Drain the liquid from the Instant Pot inner pot into another large bowl using a sieve. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can. A layer of fat will start forming on the surface. Allow a couple of minutes until you can see it separated from the juices. Either use a fat separator or alternatively place a sheet of kitchen paper over the top to absorb this fat layer. Quickly remove and discard. Depending on how fatty the meat was, you will probably need to repeat this 3 more times (a total of 4 x sheets of paper).

When you think you have removed most of the fat, pour the cooking juices back into the Instant Pot and set it to Sauté. Cook the juices down for 10 – 12 minutes until they have reduced and thickened slightly. Return the lamb shanks to the Instant Pot to heat through and spoon the sauce over when you serve.

Lamb shanks with red wine, rosemary & bay leaves in the Instant Pot

                             

A few notes on this recipe and video:

​The recipe is speeded up to fit into a 1-minute video but one thing not included – due to time and also because it is not at all pretty, is the removal of the fat part. Lamb is very fatty and despite rendering some of this off in the browning stage, a lot is released during the cooking stage.

Please take note of my best fat-removing hack mentioned above and in the recipe below and how I get rid of it in my food styling. This method uses sheets of paper towel to lift the fat off.

I’ve tested this recipe for lamb shanks with red wine and rosemary twice. Once where I marinated the meat overnight and one where I didn’t. Both are really good but I do find marinating it before does penetrate the meat and adds to the flavour.

What to serve with lamb shanks with red wine & rosemary?

  • Mashed potato is a classic accompaniment for lamb shanks.
  • Crusty white bread to mop up all the sauce.
  • Blanched green vegetables such as beans, asparagus, bok choy, mange tout or sugar snap peas.

My other Instant Pot recipes:

Gammon with ginger beer & rooibos

Confit duck legs with cherry sauce

Instant Pot caramel salmon

Instant pot cheesecake with caramel

You may also like:

Slow-cooked Asian-style lamb shanks

Lamb shank pie with red wine, rosemary & bay

The best slow-roasted lamb shoulder with harissa & garlic

A classic Greek lamb Moussaka

Rack of lamb with minty salsa verde

Herb-crusted roast rack of lamb

Roast shoulder of lamb, with rosemary, harissa, garlic & lemon

Lamb pie with mint & peas

Lamb shanks with red wine, rosemary & bay leaves in the Instant Pot

Instant Pot lamb shanks with red wine and rosemary

Lamb shanks with red wine and rosemary cooked in the Instant pot.
Print Recipe
Lamb shanks with red wine, rosemary & bay leaves in the Instant Pot
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 lamb shanks – approx. 1.2 – 1.6kg
  • 4 – 6 cloves garlic crushed
  • 4 x sprigs of rosemary approx. 15cm long
  • 4 – 6 fresh bay leaves
  • olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion chopped
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 2 celery stalks trimmed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup 250ml red wine
  • 1 tin of chopped peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup 250ml beef stock
  • 1 ½ Tbsp finely chopped parsley about 15gms

Instructions

  • You can either marinade the lamb shanks in the garlic, rosemary, bay leaves and olive oil overnight, or make this straight up. The flavour really penetrates the meat overnight so this is first prize.
  • Rub the lamb shanks with olive oil and the crushed garlic and season well with salt and Pepper. Lay these on a small tray lined with half the rosemary and bay leaves. Top the remainder of the rosemary and bay leaves, cover tightly with cling film and leave them in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to cook, scrape all the herbs and garlic off the shanks.
  • Set the Instant Pot to Sauté and add a splash of olive oil. When it is hot, brown the shanks in 2 batches on all sides turning the meat as you go. As an alternative, brown the meat in a large frying pan.
  • Once brown, remove the shanks (set aside) and drain off the fat in the bowl.
  • Keeping the Instant pot set to Sauté, add the onions, carrot and celery and cook until softened – about 6 – 8 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent them from going brown.
  • Add the tomato paste and the crushed garlic (either scraped off the overnight marinade or what you have crushed) and the bay leaves and cook for about a minute. As it starts to stick, add the red wine and deglaze the bowl. Allow this to cook down for about 6 minutes until it has reduced by ¾.
  • Add the tomatoes, mix and adjust the seasoning. You will need to add a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the rosemary stalks and chopped parsley.
  • Add the browned lamb shanks back in along with the stock. Arrange them so that they are as submerged in the liquid as possible.
  • Close and set the vent to SEAL.
  • Set the Instant Pot to Manual pressure cook HIGH (take off the keep warm function) and set it for 50 minutes.
  • Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow a natural pressure release, which will take around 20 minutes. You will know the pressure has been released when the valve has dropped back into the lid of the pot.
  • Remove the lamb shanks and set them aside keeping them warm by covering them with foil.
  • Drain the liquid from the Instant Pot bowl into another large bowl using a sieve. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can. A layer of fat will start forming on the surface. Allow a couple of minutes until you can see it separated from the juices. Either use a fat separator or alternatively place a sheet of kitchen paper over the top to absorb this fat layer. Quickly remove and discard. Depending on how fatty the meat was, you will probably need to repeat this 3 more times (a total of 4 x sheets of paper).
  • When you think you have removed most of the fat, pour the cooking juices back into the Instant Pot and set it to Sauté. Cook the juices down for 10 - 12 minutes until they have reduced and thickened slightly. Pour this gravy generously over the shanks when you serve.
  • Serve with mashed potato and any green side you like.
Servings: 4
Author: Sam Linsell

Disclaimer – This post is proudly sponsored by Instant Pot South Africa

Find me on Instagram

 
                             

14 Comments

  1. Hi. How much and what kind of tomatoes did you add in step 6. Thank you.

  2. Beautiful. I’d definitely make this for Easter if I wouldn’t be the only one eating it! Damn husband!

  3. I made this for my birthday and fell in love with these lamb shanks. Best recipe for lamb I have ever eaten! I’m making them again tomorrow, but this time I’m marinating them first. I can’t imagine them turning out better, but I’ll see.

  4. I’m so glad you loved these lamb shanks and thanks for the comment Ann xx

  5. Would love to do these shanks for Easter Sunday but what size can of chopped peeled tomatoes do I need?

  6. Hi Julie, it is a standard 400gm can (small). thanks

  7. caroline hollis says:

    These were unbelieveably good and just what I was looking for! Very easy recipe if a slight faff (only due to having to try to get the fat from off the sauce though and worth it). Lovely glossy sauce and the lamb cooked perfectly. Thank you x

  8. HI Caroline. I’m so glad you loved the lamb shanks as much as I do. Yes it is annoying to remove the fat, but so worth it as it can get very fatty.

  9. It’s a pleasure and thanks for the comment. So glad you enjoyed them.

  10. So glad you enjoyed it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *