A lovely winter warming slow cooker meal of Lamb Shanks in Red Wine
This recipe first appeared on my other website, Just A Mum
There is something so luxurious about slow cooked lamb, it is truly such a treat. Melt in the mouth lamb, so tender and falling off the bone. Lamb is definitely a luxury cut of meat, but if you have the chance to cook with it I hope you give this recipe a try.
There are so many variations of this recipe available, I tend to throw in things I believe will complement each other in taste and provide some useful techniques to elevate the whole dish.
This recipe uses red wine, when cooking with wine the alcohol cooks off so you are simply left with the flavour so this is still a family friendly meal. Any rich full bodied red wine will do, like a merlot, cabaret sauvignon or shiraz, today I used a pinot noir as that is what we had on hand! No need for it to be an expensive wine, but one that is tasty.
If you prefer not to use wine, you can substitute extra stock and stock cubes to enhance the flavours
The ingredients you will need are as follows
Lamb Shanks (or Lamb Knuckles)
Salt & Pepper
I have a few tips for you to ensure that your lamb shanks are cooked to perfection, this is for both the slow cooker and a pressure cooker (Multi pot or Instant Pot) if you prefer to use that.
There is a little prep at the start and end of this recipe. Unlike many slow cooker recipes, the key to getting great flavour is to prep the dish well at the beginning and then again take some time before serving to make something truly special.
The first step is to prepare the lamb shanks, or knuckles, they need to be trimmed as well as you can of the visible fat. For maximum flavour it is best to sear the lamb shanks on all sides before placing them in the slow cooker – season well with salt and pepper and pan fry.
Some people like to cook this dish the day before, the reason being they can skim the fat from the top after it cools. If you do this reheat it until it is piping hot again.
In the same pan you will want to sweat off the onion and garlic, then add the carrot and celery to begin to soften them briefly. I then stir through some flour and tomato paste then use the red wine to deglaze the pan, creating a simmering flavourful stock to add to the lamb shanks.
For extra flavour I use chicken stock and tinned tomatoes. I know some recipes call for all red wine, but I like this version for something different.
You want to cover the lamb shanks in the liquids, so ensure you press down the shanks if needed into the liquid before cooking.
Ideally you want to cook the lamb shanks long and on low for around 8 hours, however they are beautiful done in the multi cooker (pressure cooked) for 60 minutes, plus heating and slow release time.
The final step after cooking is to carefully remove the lamb from the slow cooker, then drain the liquids through a sieve. This separates the vegetables from the sauce.
The sauce at this stage is quite thin, you will want to pour this into a frying pan, add cornflour and reduce the liquids by 2/3rds over a rolling boil. This thickens the sauce and enhances all the lovely flavours. I do this while my potatoes cook as we love to serve them with mashed potatoes.
If you love slow cooker recipes, be sure to check out my other website, dedicated to just that! Just Slow Cooker Recipes
So onto my recipe for Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks in a Red Wine Sauce.
Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks in Red Wine
Delicious, tender Lamb Shanks cooked in a rich Red Wine Sauce
- 4 Lamb Shanks (or Lamb Knuckles)
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/2 Onion, finley diced
- 2 teaspoons Garlic, crushed
- 2 Carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 sticks Celery, rinsed, diced
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 1 Cup Red Wine
- 2 Cups Chicken Stock
- 1 400 gram Tin Canned Tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons Cornflour
- Parsley to garnish
- Mashed Potatoes to Serve
- Trim any excess fat from the lamb shanks, season with salt and pepper, set aside
- Prepare your vegetables by finely dicing your onion, peel and dice the carrot into 1 cm pieces, rinse and dice the celery into 1 cm pieces and set aside
- Preheat a frying pan with a little oil and sear the lamb shanks the whole way around and the end, a few minutes each side, remove and place in the slow cooker
- In the same frying pan add the onion and garlic and stir for 1 minute over a medium heat
- Add to this the carrot and celery and stirring often cook for up to 4 minutes until the onion is translucent and soft
- Add to this the flour and tomato paste and stir to coat for 2 minutes
- Pour over the red wine and bring this to the boil, stirring constantly to mix through the flour and vegetables until no lumps remain
- Once at a boil add the chicken stock and tinned tomatoes, bring again to a gentle boil then carefully pour this over the lamb shanks in the slow cooker
- Press the lamb shanks down into the liquid to ensure they are fully covered
- Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours, or HIGH for at least 4 hours until the lamb is tender and beginning to fall off the bone
- Once cooked carefully remove the lamb shanks from the slow cooker and set aside in a dish covered under foil
- Over a large bowl, drain the liquid through a sieve to remove the vegetables from the liquid, set aside the vegetables to keep for the next stage
- Pour the liquid into a dry frying pan, remove 4 teaspoons of liquid into a small cup and add 2 teaspoons of cornflour, mix well until no lumps remain then return to the mixture
- Stir well, then bring to a rolling boil, stirring often, reduce the liquid by at least a half to 2/3rds until thickened, can take up to 30 minutes (I like to cook my potatoes at the same time)
- You can serve this two ways, you can place the lamb shanks in a serving dish and pour over the vegetables and all the sauce then serve along side your side dishes
- Or serve individually over mashed potatoes on each plate, add the lamb shank, some of the slow cooked vegetable mix then pour over the desired amount of sauce
- Sprinkle with parsley if using
- Serve and enjoy!
Can I cook lamb shanks in the pressure cooker?
Yes if you have a multi cooker or instant pot the method is the same as above. When you have all the ingredients in your pressure cooker, cook for 60 minutes on high. It will take up to 15 minutes to reach pressure, then you need it to naturally release pressure, this may take up to 30 minutes.
What red wine should I use?
I always recommend using a red wine that you enjoy the taste of, but it does not need to be an expensive wine! A rich red wine such as cabaret sauvignon, shiraz or merlot. I used a pinot noir today as that is what we had on hand!
Do I serve the cooking vegetables or discard?
Totally up to you! I like to include them back into the dish when I serve, but you can remove them and discard, just using the sauce as it has used them to create the flavour
Do I need to reduce the sauce?
Yes I think so in this instance, there is so much sauce leftover and it is quite thin, reducing it enhances the flavour and makes for a tastier sauce.
I hope you love this special recipe! Be sure to let me know in the comments below what you think of it!
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PS Be sure to check out all my Slow Cooker Dinner ideas while you are here!
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