National Cabernet Wine Day is fast approaching and we love any excuse to crack open a bottle. This year I’ll be celebrating with a bottle(s) of Jeanneret Cabernet Malbec and friends. With a blend of Cabernet 65% and Malbec 35% it’s a very food friendly wine. The Cabernet contributes very obvious fruit, tannins and structure, while the Malbec offers more savoury notes, softer tannins and some mid palate weight. The deep, intense colour, rich fruit flavours and firm yet soft tannins matches well with rich, textured meats.
One of my favourite dishes to pair with Jeanneret Cabernet Malbec is lamb, especially richer dishes like ragout, casseroles or slow cooked lamb shanks.
Lamb Shanks with Red Wine Sauce
This slow cooked Lamb Shanks recipe is a classic! The meat is so tender it melts in your mouth whilst the sauce is intense, full of flavour and worth every minute of the slow cook. I served my shanks with creamy mashed potatoes to absorb the rich sauce.
Prep time: 10-15 mins
Cook time: 2.5 – 3 hours
4 lamb shanks, around 500g each
2 tsp salt, separated
Pinch of black pepper
2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup white onion, finely diced
1 cup carrot, finely diced
1 cup celery, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, diced or minced
2 cups full bodied red wine (I recommend Cab Sav or Merlot, cleanskins are suitable as well)
800g can crushed tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
5 sprigs of thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme
2 dried bay leaves
Thickness of sauce:
½ cup hot water
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Pat the lamb shanks dry and rub with 1 tsp of salt and black pepper.
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy based pot over high heat.
- Sear the lamb shanks in 2 batches until brown all over, about 5 minutes.
- Remove lamb onto a plate and drain excess fat (if any) from the pot.
- Turn the heat down to medium low. Heat remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil, add carrots, onion, celery and garlic. Sauté for 10 minutes until the onion softens.
- Add the red wine. Turn up the heat to medium high. Bring it to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan to mix all the brown bits into the wine. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients (including remaining 1 tsp salt) and stir to combine.
- Place the lamb shanks into the pot, squeezing them in to fit so they are mostly submerged.
- Bring back up to simmer, cover, then transfer to the oven for 2 hours.
- Turn the lamb shanks, cover, then return to the oven for another 30 minutes (so 2½ hours in total). The lamb should be very tender, the exposed surface above the liquid should be browned. The reduced sauce should be about ¼ of the original amount.
- Carefully transfer the lamb to a plate and pick out the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
- Skim excess fat off the surface of sauce. Use a stick blender to puree the sauce to make it smooth and thick. Use hot water to adjust the thickness of your desired sauce.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the lamb shanks on mashed potato with plenty of sauce!
Additional handy tips:
The size of lamb shanks varies so make sure to purchase ones that will fit your pot. They don’t need to lie completely flat & you can squeeze them in on their narrow side. As long as the meaty end is more than half submerged in liquid, that’s fine. Also, if you don’t have a pot large enough, you can switch to a baking dish for the slow cooking part, and cover with a double layer of foil if you don’t have a lid for it.
I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe and most of all, have a wonder National Cabernet Wine Day! Ps don’t forget to tag all your Jeanneret snaps with #jeanneretwines