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James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Port-braised Lamb Shanks

Mickey Strang describes this dish as "elegant comfort food." Serve it over mashed potatoes or polenta.

Sunset DECEMBER 2001

  • Yield: Makes 3 servings


  • 2 leeks (about 1 1/4 lb. total)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced or pressed garlic
  • 3 lamb shanks (about 3 1/2 lb. total), bones cracked and fat trimmed
  • 1 pound oranges, rinsed and thinly sliced crosswise (ends discarded)
  • 2/3 cup port
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur (optional)
  • About 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • About 1/2 teaspoon pepper


1. Trim root ends, coarse tops, and outer layers from leeks; cut leeks in half lengthwise. Rinse under running water, flipping layers to flush out grit. Coarsely chop.

2. Pour oil into a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven or ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add leeks and garlic; stir often until leeks are limp, about 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, rinse lamb shanks and pat dry. Add lamb, 1 cup water, orange slices, port, Cointreau, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to pan. Cover and bring to a simmer.

4. Transfer pan to a 325° regular or convection oven and bake until lamb is very tender when pierced, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Check occasionally; if pan gets too dry, add water, 1/4 cup at a time, as needed. Uncover and bake until meat is well browned, 10 to 20 minutes longer.

5. Serve from pan, or spoon into a wide, shallow bowl. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 636
  • Calories from fat: 28%
  • Protein: 79g
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated fat: 6.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 41g
  • Fiber: 3.9g
  • Sodium: 634mg
  • Cholesterol: 234mg

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Port-braised Lamb Shanks Recipe