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Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks in Red Wine

Slow cooker lamb shanks in a bold red wine sauce with garlic, red pepper & rosemary, a perfect “Sunday” lunch that goes nowhere near an oven.

Cooking this treat of a dish takes around 20-30 minutes of your time before it drops into the crockpot. Then a final 10 minutes or so to finish the sauce before dinner is served!

Slow cooker braised lamb shanks in a red wine, tomato, garlic and pepper sauce.

Crock Pot Braised Lamb Shanks in Red Wine

Someone once described my food as ‘dude food’, I think that is a bit of a generalisation. But let’s face it this beast of a hunk of meat is pure caveman fodder!

Lamb is a meat that just begs for big flavours, the rich oily meat can stand up to so much flavour and still shine through. This recipe takes advantage of that fact!

It is great in spicy dishes like my lamb rogan josh or in a nice Moroccan lamb tagine. However, here it is very much rooted in simple European cooking, in much the same way as my Barnsley chop recipe.

I begin this lamb shank recipe by browning the meat and softening and browning our vegetables.

This colouration adds so much flavour to the final recipe then we braise them in red wine.

Red peppers are added close to the end of cooking so that they keep their structure rather than melting into the sauce.

Finally, we finish off our sauce with a heavy reduction to turn that flavour up to 11.

This recipe is full-on Mediterranean comfort food and is very different from the sort of lamb recipes I was raised on.

If you wanted to try something with a little more spice, check out my lamb shank curry and if you want something a little more “British” check out my roasted minted lamb shanks!

Overhead slow cooker braised lamb shanks in a red wine, tomato, garlic and pepper sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cook this in the oven or on the stovetop?

Yes, you can, of course, cook this conventionally if you don’t want to use a slow cooker. Simply cook in a dutch oven 150°C or 300°F for 4-5 hours in the oven.

On the stovetop cook it in a dutch oven on very low for 4 hours or so!

Do I really have to reduce the sauce?

If you want this recipe to be the best that it can be then yes!

What wine should I use?

I am completely on board with Keith Floyd’s thoughts on cooking with wine… If you ain’t prepared to drink it then don’t cook with it!

I usually use a bold merlot or syrah when I am making this.

Can I use dried herbs?

Yes, use 1-2 teaspoons of dried rosemary and 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.

A word of caution!

When I say that these slow-cooked lamb shanks fall off the bone I mean it.

If you want to serve them on the bone as I do in this recipe then take care when removing them. Use a large slotted spoon and gently ease it out of the slow cooker.

On the herb front, I use a combination of fresh rosemary and thyme. You can use dried herbs if you want, add a teaspoon of each to the slow cooker.

Close up slow cooker braised lamb shanks in a red wine, tomato, garlic and pepper sauce.

Serving Suggestions

These slow-cooker lamb shanks are large and I do not think that they need a side dish.

However, you could take them off the bone and serve them for four.

I would then add a mash, mashed potatoes would be wonderful! But something like celeriac mash or swede and carrot mash would also work really well.

Of course, other potato options would work wonderfully too!

You could add roast potatoes, serve it with some Parmentier potatoes, Hasselback potatoes or if you wanted to go insanely indulgent, you could make some fondant potatoes!

Detail of cooked meat from slow cooked lamb shanks in red wine sauce.

Equipment Used

I only recommend specific brands of equipment if I think that they may make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Slow cooker, I use a 3.5L slow cooker made by Crockpot.
  • Stovetop.
  • 28cm or 11″ frying pan or skillet.
  • Sharp kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Sieve.
Slow cooker lamb shanks in a red wine, tomato and pepper sauce.
Yield: 2 Servings

Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes

These easy Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks are simply braised for 6 hours in wine, then the braising liquid is reduced to create a rich fully flavoured sauce to serve with the soft and perfectly cooked meat.


  • 2 Lamb Shanks
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 200g (1⅓ Cups) Onion
  • 10 Garlic Cloves
  • 75g (¾ Cup) Celery
  • 400g (3 Medium-Large) Tomatoes
  • 750ml (1 Bottle) Red Wine
  • 4 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme
  • 250ml (1 Cup) Lamb or Beef Stock
  • 2 Red Peppers
  • 50g (3 Tbsp +1 Tsp) Butter


  1. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large (28cm or 11") skillet or frying pan over a medium high heat and when it is hot add the oil and brown the lamb all over and set aside.
  3. Peel the onion, cut it in half and then into 5mm wide half/moon shapes.
  4. Peel the garlic and slice it as finely as you can
  5. Dice the celery.
  6. Roughly chop the tomatoes.
  7. Add the onions and celery to the pan we cooked the lamb in and cook for 10 minutes on a medium high heat.
  8. When the onions have started to brown add the sliced garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
  9. Turn the heat up to very high and pour over the wine and reduce it by a third then transfer it to a slow cooker.
  10. Add the tomatoes, stock, thyme, and rosemary to the slow cooker and then stir.
  11. Drop in the lamb shanks and push to submerge, then cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
  12. An hour before the lamb is done deseed and slice the red peppers and throw them into the slow cooker and push it down to moisten.
  13. After the cooking time is complete carefully remove the shanks and tent with foil.
  14. Skim the fat from the top of the cooking liquid, there will likely be around 5-10mm.
  15. Remove the solids from the braising liquid discarding the stems from the herbs and set aside.
  16. Strain the remaining cooking liquid into a wide-based pan over a high heat and reduce by two-thirds.
  17. Whisk in the butter to enrich the sauce and return the vegetables to the sauce and reheat before serving as a base to the lamb.


This recipe is designed for a 3.5 litre slow cooker.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1341Total Fat: 72gSaturated Fat: 30gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 260mgSodium: 1192mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 7gSugar: 19gProtein: 62g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Friday 21st of February 2020

Not happy with the European measurements.


Sunday 28th of June 2020

@Brian Jones, But you could convert for us folks that aren’t familiar. 😊 While I am a Canuck, I was brot up with ‘normal’ measurements and find metres and such a bit of a nuisance.

Brian Jones

Saturday 22nd of February 2020

I'm really not in a position to change the fact that us Europeans use, and are comfortable with metric measurements!

A decent set of scales will set you back maybe $10 and will allow you to switch between metric and imperial at will.


Wednesday 4th of September 2019

Just found your site and your recipes look so good - am going to try this tomorrow. I would like to know if I can subscribe to your site to receive emails - I am not on facebook etc

Brian Jones

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Hi Ann, I hope you enjoy them, this is a long tie favourite recipe of mine, although one that does not get a regular outing due to lamb being hard to find here in Hungary. You can get a weekly round up from my site by signing up here

Beth Neels

Tuesday 3rd of September 2019

My family and I loved this lamb! But, you're right! It was hard smelling it cook all day without devouring it!!

Brian Jones

Thursday 5th of September 2019

lol, yes that really is the downside of slow cooking, the drip drip drip torture of those lovely aromas!

Jeff the Chef

Thursday 29th of August 2019

These lamb shanks sound wonderful and look absolutely delectable.

Brian Jones

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Cheers Jeff :)

Chef Mireille

Thursday 29th of August 2019

It looks so homey and hearty. The perfect wintertime comfort food. Lamb is one of my fave meats and I can definitely dig into this one!

Brian Jones

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Thank you, I love lamb too!

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