Not your mother’s lamb shanks
Lamb Shanks have changed remarkably since my mother cooked them. The lamb shanks themselves are still the same, it’s the ingredients and method of cooking that my mother wouldn’t recognise.
Shanks were once classed in the frugality basket but, although they’re still great value for money, you can produce a gourmet meal from this old favourite.
- Brown the meat first. The slow cooker isn’t about hurling everything in and turning it on.
- Turn your Slow Cooker on while you prepare the ingredients. Don’t pour very hot ingredients into a Slow Cooker. Let them cool a little first.
- The wine. Cheap wine, please. Don’t use expensive wines for slow cooking. No one can tell the difference if you make this with a $5 bottle or a $50 bottle.
- Garnish with fresh rosemary if you don’t have thyme
You literally cannot overcook lamb shanks. Leave it in for an hour too long, and the meat is still succulent and juicy. The worst that will happen is that the meat falls off the bone when you go to serve it. And if you pull it out too early and the meat isn’t fork tender, just add more liquid and keep cooking!
Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks
- Slow Cooker
- 4 lamb shanks
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup carrot, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 small tin crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 bottle red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- sprig thyme
- Pat the shanks dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy based pot over high heat. Sear the lamb shanks in 2 batches until brown all over, about 5 minutes .Remove lamb onto a plate and drain excess fat (if any) from the pot.
- Turn the heat down to medium low. Heat more olive oil in the same pot, if needed.
- Add the onion and garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Add carrot and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until onion is translucent and sweet.:
- Add the red wine, chicken stock, crushed tomato, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
- Place the lamb shanks into the Slow Cooker. Pour sauce over.
- Cook for 5 hours on High.
- Check to ensure shanks are ultra tender (use 2 forks) - if not, cover and keep cooking. Ideal is tender meat but still just holding onto bone.
- Remove lamb onto plate and keep warm. Pick out and discard bay leaves and thyme.
- .Taste then add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. Garnish with thyme leaves
Nicko has an interesting recipe with cranberry sauce