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Lamb shanks baked in paper with olives and red wine

The best way to season lamb shanks? Wrap them with whatever aromatics you choose and let the flavours mingle as your parcels bake.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs cooking
  • Serves 4
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In this recipe the flavour of the red wine and olives in these parcels becomes concentrated as they cook, seasoning the fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks. We've served it with a simple fennel and celeriac salad; try it with boiled orzo tossed with a little olive oil and salt. When it comes to wrapping the parcels, leaving the bone exposed is an impressive way to present the shanks - stand them upright in a bowl to wrap them and secure the parcels around the bone.


  • 4 French-trimmed lamb shanks (about 250gm each)
  • 300 gm tomato polpa (see note)
  • 100 ml dry red wine
  • 80 gm small unpitted Kalamata olives in brine, plus 1 tsp olive brine
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, torn
  • 1 oregano sprig, torn, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry-roasted fennel seeds
Fennel and celeriac salad
  • 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil (¼ cup)
  • 3 tsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 baby fennel bulb, shaved on a mandolin
  • ½ celeriac (about 300gm), cut into julienne
  • 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 160C. Place 4 large pieces of baking paper (about 40cm long) on a work surface and top each with another piece at an angle. Divide lamb shanks among sheets and pull up sides of paper to prevent liquid escaping. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and spoon onto each shank, then season to taste. Fold paper up around the shanks and secure with kitchen string. Place parcels in a baking dish and bake until lamb falls from the bone (2¾-3 hours; unwrap a parcel to check).
  • 2
    For fennel and celeriac salad, whisk olive oil, vinegar and mustard in a bowl. Season to taste, then add fennel, celeriac and shallot and toss to combine. Unwrap lamb parcels, top with extra oregano and serve with fennel and celeriac salad.


Tomato polpa, finely chopped tomatoes canned in their juice, is available from select supermarkets and delicatessens. If it's unavailable, substitute canned crushed tomatoes.
Drink Suggestion: A robust Greek red such as an agiorgitiko. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.

  • undefined: Lisa Featherby