Red Wine Lamb Shanks with Parsley Mash

As many of you are aware, here in Sydney we have just been visited by a Category 2 cyclone.  What was predicted was ‘a few days of wind and rain’ but what arrived was far more severe and certainly unexpected.

Slow cooked until meltingly soft

Slow cooked until meltingly soft

On Saturday night we went out for dinner and it was so mild and balmy we wore lightweight summer clothing.  We sat outside and were perfectly comfortable and there was no need to turn on the outdoor heaters.

This is usually a place to picnic

Clifton Gardens.  This is usually a park in front of the beach.

On Sunday night we had dinner sitting outside on our verandah and the temperature had certainly dropped and just as we were sitting down the wind picked up.  We had to roll down the awning to spare the candles and with the flapping awning it was a bit like dining in a tent.

Totally under water

Clifton Gardens picnic area

Later that night when I was cleaning up the kitchen the rain came down.  And it didn’t stop.  And it became heavier and heavier until it was torrential and no one was sadder than two elderly girls who had to brave the elements to do their business.

Clifton Gardens, Mosman

Clifton Gardens, Mosman

Monday was utterly miserable with the wind and the rain being out of control.  On Tuesday Alfie had to return to school after the Easter holidays.  I walked him to school which was a disaster because as soon as we were out on the street the wind turned my umbrella inside out and the force snapped all the spokes.  We arrived at the school drenched.

Everything you need

Everything you need

By now, thousands of homes in Sydney were without electricity and a state of emergency had been declared in several regions.  On Wednesday I was meant to meet with Tiago but on Tuesday night he sent me a text message saying the police had just knocked on his door telling him he needed to evacuate because there was a high risk of bursting its banks.  Tiago was on the move and would not be turning up to work on Wednesday.

Served with a parsley-infused mash

Served with a parsley-infused mash

Which didn’t really bother me because he’s becoming a lot more personal and I’ve only known him a couple of weeks and he’s now wanting to know my height, weight and age and document them in his little black book.



Skipping forward a few days, the sun is now shining and we were fortunate to survive the cyclone with water damage from a leaking roof and one fallen tree being our only issues.  Elsewhere it was much worse with four casualties, flooding, road closures, houses being swept away, trees crashing onto homes and, four days later, 100,000 homes remain without power.

Topped with gremolata

Topped with gremolata

While the storm raged, I didn’t want to leave my bunker and instead of racing all over town, went into the kitchen to cook up some comfort foods.  When you arrive home drenched and windswept it’s so lovely to step into a house that’s being warmed by the oven that has some slow-cooking going on.

Lamb Shanks cooked in red wine

Lamb Shanks cooked in red wine

One of the dishes I made was these slow-roasted lamb shanks cooked in red wine with a parsley mash.  From start to finish it takes around three hours which is a good amount of time to be distracted from the weather.

Comfort food

Comfort food

5.0 from 9 reviews
Red Wine Lamb Shanks with Parsley Mash
Recipe type: Comfort Cooking
Cuisine: Australian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Lamb shanks slow-cooked in red wine and leeks, topped with a gremolata and served with a parsley-infused mash.
  • 2 tbspns olive oil
  • 6 lamb shanks French-trimmed
  • 2 leeks, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 500mls (2 cups) dry red wine
  • 800gms tinned tomatoes
  • 500mls (2 cups) vegetable stock
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • For the Gremolata:
  • 1 bunch parsley, leaves and soft stalks only
  • Rind of one lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely diced
  • For the Mash:
  • 6 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 2 tbspns butter, cubed
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (375F).
  2. Heat olive oil in a large casserole dish on the stove over high heat.
  3. Place lamb shanks in a single layer in the casserole dish (you may have to do this in batches) and brown all over. Remove and set aside. Season.
  4. Turn down the heat and add leeks, carrots and garlic. Cook until softened (about 5 minutes).
  5. Return shanks to pan. Add red wine and bring to a boil.
  6. Add tomatoes and vegetable stock. Stir through.
  7. Place rosemary stalks on top, cover with a tight-fitting lid and place in in the oven for 2½ hours or until lamb falls from the bone with just a nudge.
  8. For the Gremolata:
  9. Finely chop parsley. Place in a small bowl and combine with lemon rind and garlic.
  10. For the Parsley Mash:
  11. Place potatoes in a saucepan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Cook until tender, drain then return to the hob to remove any excess water. Remove from heat.
  12. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add parsley and blanch. Drain.
  13. Place parsley and warm milk in a food processor and blend. Pour over potatoes and mash.
  14. When smooth, add cubed butter and mash until smooth. Season.
  15. To Serve:
  16. Place parsley mash in the centre of a warmed plate. Stand a lamb shank against the mash. Pour sauce mixture around the shank. Sprinkle gremolata over shank. Done!
Slow cooked until meltingly soft

Slow cooked until meltingly soft


  1. It sounds like Sydney’s been going through a rough time with this cyclone. I hope the homes without power regain it soon. Four days … I don’t know what I’d do if I had to go through all that. Australians seem to be a hearty breed. The dish you made does sound warm and comforting. I wish you all the best.

  2. Good you are okay, Charlie. And….. Holy WOW, you guys really have been slammed with some seriously cray weather. Lovely hearty feed, our slow cooker has been cracking along for a few weeks now, havent done lamb shanks yet tho, shall add to the list.

    Hope you and the family are doing okay, and your puppies are happy and healthy. Take care and enjoy the weekend. xo

  3. I’m so glad you survived, I have a friend in Davidson that still doesn’t have power 🙁 As yes slow cooked lamb shanks are about my favourite comfort food… with Mash Of course! Liz xx

  4. My goodness, those storms! Glad that you were unharmed! Tis cold here in Canberra too… so winter warmers are back on the menu. Have a great weekend lovely xox

  5. Woah! He wants to know those details? My trainer has never asked me for them nor would I want to give them to her!

  6. Have been thinking of all my Sydney friends and hoping everyone was braving the storms – bet your family loved your lamb shanks Charlie.

  7. The perfect meal for a rainy, stormy day (although a little less stormy would have been better for a lot of people). I love slow cooked lamb, I love gremolata… delicious.

  8. Hi Charlie
    Just wanted to let you know that when I tyle in http://www.hotlyspiced .com the latest post I getis from March It’s the praline one. I got here because I hit the actual link to this on FB. Not sure what’s going on.

  9. Sorry that should have been type in

  10. My friend has a trainer who measured her arms and legs when they first started! Yikes!! Can you imagine? I absolutely love this dish – it’s a perfect spring meal too and lamb shanks are just perfect for slow cooking.

  11. Good luck with your weather… and I hope your dogs are doing well too. You sound as if you have the perfect culinary coping strategy.

  12. I love love love this dish. Its screaming comfort food. The cyclone sounds scary… Sandy was enough to give me the hives for the rest of my life.

  13. Praying for all those affected by storm.
    So glad you weren’t hit too badly.
    This looks so delicious! Will be making it but will also be cutting the quantities down to one.
    My Mama and I are not big eaters.

  14. Oh, my goodness, I am so sorry to read about this horrible cyclone with lives and homes lost. Thankful you are OK.

  15. I’m happy for you and I feel bad for all the people who had do endure big damage. I feel with you all!

  16. That looks like perfect food for wind and rain. I love the smell in the house of slow food cooking, it’s so comforting. As to your trainer, mine has never asked for those details either! GG

  17. The storm sounds terrible. So glad the damage at your house wasn’t too bad. This looks like a perfectly comforting meal for a stormy day! Hope the sun is still shining.

  18. Glad you and your family are safe and sound and your home suffered only minor damage. Hope all the other homes now have power restored. Weather this year is crazy, can you believe we had snow flurries yesterday and today? Both days have been more winter than spring. I am not into lamb but I plan to substitute pork shank, should be just as good I think.

  19. I’m so glad you are safe and sound, Charlie. We were staggered by the fury of that storm. XO This dish is pure comfort in a truly awful situation.

  20. Those storms were something else – very scary. Glad that you are all OK. These lamb shanks look devine – perfect comfort food when the weather is raging outside.

  21. Lamb for ANZAC Day: of course . . . and the red wine is more than appropriate. Especially should it come from the poor Newcastle wine area which had it so much worse than Sydney. Forty kms inland and 100 kms south of you we did not get the same wind but oh the rain. Have been throughout the tropical Pacific but did not know a native canoe rather than a SUV would have been more appropriate last Wednesday being carried by the Powers up Hume Highway!! At least the Dawn Service was fine hereabouts this morning . . .

  22. Glad you all were safe and kept your power. Cooking definitely is a good distraction, though Bill seem to like eating better—he’d approve of your lamb!

  23. I’m glad you and your family are okay Charlie! Your Lamb Shanks look absolutely delicious, warm and welcoming on a cold, wintry day!

  24. Bless you for keeping your wits (and humor) about you, Charlie. Grateful you had the power to cook this comfort meal for your loved ones <3 Thank you for sharing the good news, too, that sunshine has returned.

  25. So glad you and your family are safe after such torrid weather! The lamb shanks look so delicious and comforting … just what’s needed in the cooler weather x

  26. I made a lamb shank recipe for a recipe test I did a few months ago and I was blown away at how delicious it was. The test included creamy polenta with parsley so it was along the same lines as your mash. The sauce was the kicker…made with red wine and san marzano tomatoes. I have since made it with pork (lamb shanks are so expensive here) and with great success although JT prefers the lamb. I will definitely give your recipe a go when I see lamb on sale next time.
    I saw that the weather was so horrible, I’m glad you came out OK.

  27. So pleased you all survived unscathed Charlie and we LOVE lamb shanks. Love the idea of serving them with parsley mash. Shanks have been on my shopping list for weeks now but alas have not found any – think it’s time to head to the butchers and order some.
    Have a beautiful week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  28. These lamb shanks look very warming. What a sad week with Sydney storms and the Nepal earthquake and the Bali nine execution coming up. Let’s hope things get better soon. Hope Rosie is ok.

  29. I’m so glad to hear you’re safe after such a crazy storm!! And yes, warm comfort food is just the thing you need when the weather is like that!

  30. I’m sorry about the storm but what a great reason to make a delicious meal. I love lamb and rarely cook it because I’m not sure what to do. I like the ingredients in this recipe a lot. In your step 11, what is a hob?

  31. That looks like a perfect dish for this cold weather! Makes me want to make it right now (even though it’s 1am…) 😛

    The storm looks deadly! Glad that you’re ok.

  32. Wasn’t the storm crazy? And then there was the hailstorm on Saturday. Such wild and crazy times by Mother Nature!

  33. What a weather week you had down there. Then the hail. I thought of you every day and your poor Ruby having to piddle in that rain.

    At least you had these wonderful lamb shanks.

  34. Glad to hear you were kept relatively safe, how frightening….those shanks make me want to get my slow cooker out!!

  35. Happy to know that you and your loved ones are safe and sound. And you’re back with a beautiful dish served in an intolerably beautiful deep plate 🙂

    Thank you, Charlie, for the recipe. May God always protect you from all the calamities and keep you content.

  36. I did hear about storms, and “too much rain,” but I never heard a report of a cyclone, which adds a whole new dimension to the circumstances. This must have been really scary at times. When it rains with wind like that you must wonder if it’s going to stop! Our weather patterns are sure mixed up! In your last post you mentioned Ruby not doing well. I continue to think of your little gal, and hope that you are all doing as well as can be under the circumstances. That you can continue to cook like a pro just astounds me. My son-in-law would be so thrilled with these lamb shanks! I must make plans to surprise him. 🙂

  37. Thank goodness you guys are OK! I’ve experienced storms similar to that when we lived in New Hampshire, but not to that extreme. And even those were unsettling!

    Your lamb dish looks amazing and comforting.

  38. Glad you all are okay after the cyclone. That really looks like a perfectly comforting dish to calm the nerves and sooth the soul.

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