These lamb shanks with red wine & rosemary and bay  is the perfect winter recipe. I made them in my amazing Instant Pot and they cooked to a fall off the bone and meltingly delicious texture in 75 minutes total with only 50 minutes of pressure cooking time.

Since I constantly seem to be running out of time my Instant Pot is so helpful, especially for dishes like this. I also didn’t want to deviate too much from classic flavours here. I mean, why reinvent the wheel. I absolutely love red wine, rosemary, bay leaves and garlic with lamb. This recipe is a classic and a keeper. 

Autumn and with that Easter, is my favourite time 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 onto 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

Lamb shanks with red wine, rosemary & bay leaves

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

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

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

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

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

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


*Cooks Notes – 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 removing 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. In the recipe below I include my best fat-removing hack and how I get rid of it in my food styling. After straining the sauce, allow it to settle a bit and then use a paper towel to lift off excess fat. 

I’ve tested this recipe 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.

Recipe – Lamb shanks with red wine, rosemary & bay leaves

Serves 4


Lamb shanks with red wine, rosemary & bay leaves

  • Author: Sam Linsell


  • 4 lamb shanks – approx. 1.2 – 1.6kg
  • 46 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 x sprigs of rosemary approx. 15cm long
  • 46 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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Once brown, remove the shanks (set aside) and drain off the fat in the bowl.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Add the browned lamb shanks back in along with the stock. Arrange them so that they are as submerged in the liquid as possible.
  8. Close and set the vent to SEAL.
  9. Set the Instant Pot to Manual pressure cook HIGH (take off the keep warm function) and set it for 50 minutes.
  10. Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow a natural pressure release, which will take around 20 minutes. You will know the pressure has released when the valve has dropped back into the lid of the pot.
  11. Remove the lamb shanks and set 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 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.
  12. Serve with mashed potato and any green side you like.

My other Instant Pot recipes:

Gammon with ginger beer & rooibos

Confit duck legs with cherry sauce

Instant Pot caramel salmon

You may also like:

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

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



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  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. Sam

    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. Sam

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

  7. caroline hollis

    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. Sam

    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. Sam

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

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