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Braised Lamb Shanks (no wine)

Lamb shanks is one of those slow cooking cuts that I love and screams out comfort. I got some cuts from green spoon KE and for the longest time I didn’t have the time to cook them and then when i finally did, I realized I didn’t have any red wine to use for the braise.


Red wine does add a layer of flavor but in its absence I had to improvise and leaned into balsamic vinegar as a substitute. I think this version of the recipe is great for people that don’t ascribe to alcohol in any way shape or form and the alcohol substitute doesn’t.


As a slow cook meal, this recipe has little to no effort in terms of technique. All you need to do is prep then put your prepped ingredients into an oven dish or slow cooker and leave it to cook for some hours to get that soft fall of the bone meat that you can mop up with mash potatoes or flat breads.




Serves 4


  • 4 lamb shanks

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 4 tbs Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 cup diced celery

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • Cooking oil

  • 1 large carrot, diced

  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into large cubes

  • 1 red pepper, cut into large cubes

  • 1 tbs butter

  • 1 tbs tomato paste

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 liter stock (you can use veg, beef or chicken stock for this recipe)


Special equipment

  • Deep baking dish with a lid (if your baking dish doesn’t have a lid you can use foil)


We first start by browning out shanks in a frying pan with some oil. We want to get some good brown colour on the shanks. Once they are browned take them out of the pan and set them aside.


In the same pan, add some oil, the butter, onion, garlic, celery and carrots and sweat on a medium heat until the onions are soft. Add the tomato paste and mix well, then add in the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and peppers. Season with some salt and pepper. Let that sweat for a couple of minutes then add the stock and rosemary springs and allow that to simmer for 10 minutes.


Pre heat your oven to 180°C.


As the sauce simmers, place your shanks into the baking dish and once the sauce has simmered, transfer all the contents into the baking dish that has the lamb. Cover the dish and put it into the oven on the medium shelf for an hour. Check on the meat after an hour and if it doesnt easily pull apart with a spoon, add 500ml of stock and let it bake for another 40 minutes.

Once ready, the meat should easily fall apart. You can serve this up with some creamy mash and a side of seasonal vegetables

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