These slow cooked lamb shanks are cooked in a slow cooker to make an easy and really delicious tasting meal. After just about 20 minutes prep time, sit back and let the slow cooker (or oven if you do not have a slow cooker) do the job. Perfect to come home to on a winter weekend after a bracing walk.
Once upon a time lamb shanks were a cheap cut that no one really wanted as it required long, slow cooking. They were, however, popular with chefs for their delicious flavour and restaurateurs for their high profit margin as they were a cheap cut. Home cooks in the know would also buy them to make an economical tasty meal. Then celebrity chefs made them fashionable and so more and more home cooks discovered them. Sadly, as a result, it is no longer considered an unwanted cut and the price has gone up to reflect that. They are not the bargain they once were but that said, they still have a fabulous flavour and make a great family meal, albeit not so cheap.
These chunky pieces of meat really appeal to my two grown sons, and are very popular in our household. The small amount of prep makes them a perfect weekend meal. They can quite literally be left to cook themselves until the meat is deliciously tender and the juices have taken on a rich mellow flavour. There is very little washing up as well, just a frying pan and a casserole dish. A generous helping of mash to mop up all the delicious gravy finishes off the meal.
The addition of port or red wine may seem extravagant, but you do not need an expensive bottle. Just something that is nice and full bodied like a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or a Spanish Rioja would be ideal. Port will add an even richer flavour to the dish. I have seen port in the supermarkets not much more expensive than the above wines, so why not go and spoil yourself.
Step by step slow cooked lamb shanks with onions and peppers
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 lamb shanks
- 2 onions sliced
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 tsp light brown sugar
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 300 ml red wine or port
- 300 ml good lamb or vegetable stock
- 1 red pepper seeded and sliced
- 1 green pepper seeded and sliced
- 1 yellow pepper seeded and sliced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped parsley to sprinkle
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the lamb shanks on all sides. Remove from the pan and place in the slow cooker.
- Reduce the heat and add the onions. Fry for 10 to 15 minutes until the onions have softened and are beginning to brown. Stir in the garlic, sugar and vinegar and cook for another minute or two.
- Tip the onions on top of the lamb shanks, then add the herbs, wine (or port) and stock.
- Pile the peppers on top, cover and cook on high for 8 hours. Season to taste.
If you do not have a slow cooker you can cook this dish in a preheated oven 180℃ (160℃ fan)/350°F /gas mark 4 for 2–3 hours. Check half way through the cooking time and add a little extra stock if required.
Nutrition information is approximate and is meant as a guideline only. (It does not include seasoning with salt and pepper.)