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!
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.
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.
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.
Of course, other potato options would work wonderfully too!
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.
- 28cm or 11″ frying pan or skillet.
- Sharp kitchen knife.
- Chopping board.
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
- Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper.
- 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.
- Peel the onion, cut it in half and then into 5mm wide half/moon shapes.
- Peel the garlic and slice it as finely as you can
- Dice the celery.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes.
- Add the onions and celery to the pan we cooked the lamb in and cook for 10 minutes on a medium high heat.
- When the onions have started to brown add the sliced garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
- 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.
- Add the tomatoes, stock, thyme, and rosemary to the slow cooker and then stir.
- Drop in the lamb shanks and push to submerge, then cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
- 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.
- After the cooking time is complete carefully remove the shanks and tent with foil.
- Skim the fat from the top of the cooking liquid, there will likely be around 5-10mm.
- Remove the solids from the braising liquid discarding the stems from the herbs and set aside.
- Strain the remaining cooking liquid into a wide-based pan over a high heat and reduce by two-thirds.
- 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.
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.