Slow cooker lamb shanks

For a winter’s meal there’s nothing like a tender, melt in your mouth meal of slow cooker lamb shanks.

In the winter I love nothing more than opening the door to the house to the smell of a delicious meal cooking.  It’s a comforting smell that reminds me of mum’s home cooking but it’s also such a great feeling to know that dinner is almost ready and there’s not much to do!

I’m currently in love with my slow cooker and I have been using it more lately both because it’s colder but also for convenience and time saving reasons.  Part of my plan over the next 6 months is to work on being more organised and to save time when I can (well really it’s a life long plan!!).   I’m working quite long hours at the moment with a few different things on the go, so I need to be organised and plan my meals.  It’s so easy to just chuck everything in in the morning and come home to dinner being almost prepared.

Slow cooker lamb shanks are kind of like mini lamb roasts that are pretty good value for money and delicious at the same time.  I find one shank is too much for me, so there are always left overs for the next day which is a bonus.

Nutritionally, lamb is a good source of iron, protein, B group vitamins and zinc so it’s nutrient dense and filling.

I served this with kumara and potato mash as well as steamed vegetables for a classic meat and “three vegetable” hearty meal.

Slow cooker lamb shanks

2 lamb shanks, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tin tomatoes
2 cups reduced salt beef stock
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 cloves garlic
1 large brown onion
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves

Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the lamb shanks and brown all over.  This helps enhance the flavour.

Add the tomatoes, stock, tomato paste and vinegar to the slow cooker.  Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves and onion.  Add these to the slow cooker and sprinkle over the herbs.  Give it a gentle mix.  Add the lamb shanks and pop the lid on the slow cooker.  Turn to low and cook for 8 hours.

To make a gravy for the slow cooker lamb shanks, spoon out a cup of the liquid and sieve into a small glass bowl.  Add a couple of ice cubes and stir well to help it cool down.  Then pop it in the freezer for around 15 minutes.  Take out and scoop of the layer of fat from the top.  In my opinion, the gravy tastes much better without this!  Mix 1/2 a tablespoon of cornflour with a small amount of water to make a paste and add to the liquid.  Microwave for 2-3 minutes, stir, then microwave again until it thickens. You may need to add a little more cornflour.   Serve the lamb shanks with gravy and vegetables of your choice.  I also like to spoon over a little of the tomato and onion mixture on top too.

I’m sure these slow cooker lamb shanks will be a hit in your house for a hearty, nourishing winter meal.

What are your favourite slow cooker recipes and would you like me to share some more of my favourites?