We definitely eat differently in the winter. More oven, less grill. More low and slow, less eat and run. And in my humble opinion, lamb shanks are best saved for fall/winter eating. Although they are an easily overlooked cut, you will be surprised and delighted once you try them.
This recipe is a little work at the beginning because of the veggie chopping. But then you can walk away from it until dinnertime.
If you’re not a slow-cooker type of person, you can do the prep in a dutch oven on the stovetop, and then pop the whole thing in the oven on low heat once you have it assembled.
Amazing Lamb Shanks
- 1 cast iron pan
- 1 slow cooker
- 4 lamb shanks
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup carrot, finely diced
- 2-1/2 cups red wine
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken stock (or water)
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 2 dried bay leaves
- Pat the lamb shanks dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in cast iron pan over high heat. Sear the lamb shanks until brown all over, about 5 minutes.
- Remove lamb from pan and drain excess fat from the pan.
- Turn the heat down to medium low. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add onion and garlic and 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 tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaves. Stir to combine and bring sauce to a simmer.
- Place the lamb shanks into the slow cooker and cover with sauce, ensuring shanks are mostly submerged.
- Cook on low for 8 hours.
- Remove shanks and keep warm. Reduce sauce to desired thickness over stove and/or use a blitz blender to blend the veggies into the sauce.
- Serve over potatoes, polenta, or rice. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves.