Lamb n vin: lamb shank braised in a whole bottle of wine

Main Dish
4 servings
25 min
20 min
Very Easy


Number of serving: 4
300 g dried cannellini beans

1 large or 2 small lamb shanks

2 small onions, cut into segments

3 bay leaves

2 stalks of celery, sliced

1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

4 or 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and squashed

1 large or 2 small dried chillies

an orange

a bottle of red wine

olive oil or lard

a handful of mushrooms, quartered

a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar


  • Soak the beans in cold water overnight. Put the lamb, onions, bay leaves, celery, sweet potatoes, garlic and chilli and few peppercorns in a large bowl. Peel a few lengths of orange peel with a potato peeler and add to the dish, along with the rest of the orange, sliced. Pour over enough red wine to cover the lamb. Set aside overnight, somewhere cool, though it doesn’t need to be in the fridge.
  • The next day when you’re ready to start cooking, drain the beans and bring them to the boil in a pot of water, then boil them hard for fifteen minutes. Cover and turn off the heat. Put a few good lugs of oil in a large heavy-based casserole. When it starts to sizzle, lift the lamb out of its marinade and add to the pan. Leave for a minute of two until it’s brown on one side. Turn it over and brown the other side.
  • Lift out with draining spoon, then add the remaining ingredients from the marinade and the mushrooms. Cook for a good ten minutes or until they have softened. Pour in the wine from the marinade, plus the rest of the bottle and then add the drained beans. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, turning it down just before it actually boils.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and the lamb, cover the pot with greaseproof paper and a lid. Leave to simmer gently for about an hour and a half. Check the meat for tenderness – it should just fall off the bone. The beans should be very soft too.
  • Take off the lid and paper, turn up the heat and cook at a vigorous bubble for about ten to fifteen minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. Check the seasoning and serve in bowls with chunks of crusty bread and a bottle of red.


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