My slow cooker lamb shanks are gently cooked in a bold red wine which is then reduced to create a sauce with massive flavour. You may want to leave the house though, the aroma of this cooking all-day will leave you salivating!
Simple and Easy Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks.
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!
We begin this shanks 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. Slow cooked lamb is always a treat!
We add some red peppers 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 is in much the same way as I finish my beef bourguignon in the instant pot.
This recipe is full-on Mediterranean comfort food and is very different from the sort of lamb recipes I was raised on. This slow cooker affair could not be further removed from my lamb hotpot or shepherds pie recipes if it tried.
Recipe Notes, Hints and Tips.
When I say that these braised lamb shanks are 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.
You can, of course, cook this conventionally if you don’t want to use a slow cooker. Simply cook in a dutch oven in the oven at 150°C or 350°F for 4-5 hours.
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.
Finally, do not skip the reduction process with the sauce, failure to do so will disappoint.
What Wine to Use for This Recipe?
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!
This recipe calls for a big and bold wine, you want something fruity and inky dark.
I used a Hungarian Red called Egri Bikaver, a much famed Hungarian wine that is made about an hour from home.
But something like a merlot, syrah or even a chianti would work just as well.
- 2 Lamb Shanks
- 50 g flour
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 200 g Onion
- 10 Garlic Cloves
- 75g Celery
- 400 g Tomatoes
- 750ml Red Wine
- 4 Sprigs Rosemary
- 4 Sprigs Thyme
- 250 ml Beef Stock
- 1 Red Pepper
- 5 g Chopped Parsley
- Place the flour, salt and pepper into a large strong bag.
- Add the lamb shanks one at a time and shake to coat.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium high heat.
- When hot brown the lamb all over and set aside.
- Cut the onion into 5mm wide half/moon shapes.
- Finely slice the garlic and celery.
- Add the onions and celery to the pan we cooked the lamb in and cook for 10 minutes on medium high.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes.
- When the onions have started to brown add the sliced garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
- Throw in the tomatoes and then pour over the wine and reduce by a third.
- Add the thyme and rosemary to the base of the slow cooker followed by the lamb.
- Pour in the wine mix and the beef stock.
- Taste and add salt if required and cook for 8 hours on low or 6 hours on high.
- An hour before the lamb is done slice the red pepper and throw it in the slow cooker.
- 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.
- Reduce this by two thirds to create a rich sauce adding salt as required.
- Return the vegetables to this sauce and reheat before serving as a base to the shanks.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 890 Total Fat: 27g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 18g Cholesterol: 90mg Sodium: 1545mg Carbohydrates: 62g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 8g Sugar: 17g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 35g