On chilly evenings when you need something simple and hearty, try Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks in Red Wine. Ideal for supper guests when you've been out all day.
One of the pleasures of cooler weather is having a hearty casserole for dinner and Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks are ideal. The flavoursome, tender meat just falls off the bone and will impress dinner guests or delight your family.
Serve with mashed potato and peas or broccoli.
Key Ingredients in Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks
The shank is the lower part of the leg, front or back. It's a relatively cheap cut of meat because it needs a long, slow cook to be at its best.
Fortunately for us, slow cookers, or crockpots, do that job perfectly while we're doing something else.
Onions, Carrots, Celery
These three vegetables together, chopped very small (or blitzed in a processor) make a classic mirepoix. The usual ratio is twice as much onion as carrot and celery, as used here, although I've added some garlic for extra flavour.
The mirepoix is made by gently frying the vegetables until they are soft and then using them as the basis for the sauce. This way you don't get too much thin liquid in your dish.
With canned tomatoes, you get what you pay for. I’ve tried many brands of tomatoes, looking for one that isn’t full of thin liquid. It can be a bit of trial and error to find a good one.
It doesn't need to be special wine, but either buy a bottle of basic good plonk or use the end of a bottle that's open.
If you have leftover wine you can freeze it in an ice-cube tray or small containers to use in casseroles.
For preference make your own (e.g. Slow Cooker Chicken/Turkey Stock) or use a good quality ready-made stock or stock concentrate.
Fresh rosemary and thyme with a bay leaf are best if you have them.
Use dried if you must - or think about growing a rosemary bush in a pot outside the back door!
How long do you cook Lamb Shanks?
8-10 hours on LOW or 6-8 hours on HIGH. Really, the longer you cook Lamb Shanks the better, so this dish is ideal for evenings you will be late home.
Re-heated Lamb Shanks are even better, so cook as much as your slow cooker will hold and freeze the rest for another day.
How do you make Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks gluten-free?
The only ingredient containing gluten is flour, so use a gluten-free flour such as Freee Plain Flour (which used to be Doves Farm) and which you can buy at most supermarkets
What else do you need to make Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks?
- Slow Cooker - see my Top 5 tips for buying and the one I bought Morphy Richards Digital Slow Cooker
- Slow Cooker liners - Reduce washing up if your slow cooker isn't non-stick.
If you like this...
...Why don't you try:
Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks in Red Wine
- 1 large onion (300g)
- 2 carrots (150g)
- 3 stalks celery (150g)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 lamb shanks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (30ml)
- 400 g x 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato purée (30ml)
- 250 ml red wine
- 2 tablespoons plain/all-purpose flour (30ml)
- 250 ml stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 sprigs thyme
- Freshly ground pepper
- Peel and finely chop the onion, carrots, and celery
- Peel and finely chop/crush the garlic
- If you prefer, use a food processor on PULSE to chop the vegetables, keeping the onion separate
For the Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks in Red Wine:
- Preheat your slow cooker if necessary
- Heat a large frying pan on MEDIUM-HIGH, add half the oil and brown the lamb shanks all over, then transfer them to the slow cooker. This will take about 10 minutes
- Turn the heat to MEDIUM-LOW. Add the remaining oil to the frying pan and fry the onion gently for 2-3 minutes
- Add the chopped carrot, celery, and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes until the vegetables will start to soften
- Stir in the tomato purée and flour and cook for 1 minute
- Slowly add the wine and half the stock and bring to the boil, stirring until you have a smooth sauce (apart from the vegetables!)
- Add the tinned tomatoes and bring back to the boil
- Pour the sauce over the lamb in the slow cooker
- Pour the rest of the stock into the frying pan, bring it to the boil and stir the pan to pick up any sauce, then pour into the slow cooker.
- Add the bay leaves, rosemary and thyme to the slow cooker and put the lid on
- Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 6 hours. The lamb should be tender and starting to fall off the bone.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste
- Serve with mashed potato and a green vegetable, e.g. broccoli.
Everyday Cooks Tip:
- The longer you cook Lamb Shanks the better, so this dish is ideal for evenings you will be late home
- Re-heated Lamb Shanks are even better, so cook as much as your slow cooker will hold and freeze the rest for another day.