Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Red Wine Sauce

Lamb shanks are one of the more affordable cuts of meat that benefit from long, slow cooking in a rich sauce. Cooking shanks, which are full of muscle, long and slow helps the connective tissue (collagen) to break down. This produces succulent, melt-in-the-mouth meat that soaks up the rich flavours of the tomato and wine sauce. Cook this recipe in  a conventional oven or pop it in your slow cooker in the morning to come home to a delightful treat!


Serves: 6
Preparation time: 3 1/2 hours (conventional) to 8 1/2 hours (slow cooker)
Difficulty: moderate


Ingredients

4 lamb shanks
2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup plain flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
3 carrots, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle (750ml) red wine
800g can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
3 sprigs rosemary
2 dried bay leaves
handful torn parsley to serve


Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (if cooking conventionally) or prepare your slow cooker.
  2. Combine flour, salt and paper in a large ziplock bag and shake to mix.  Add the lamb shanks one at a time and shake to coat in flour, then shake off excess and place shanks on a plate.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based pot (a dutch oven is ideal) on medium high. Cook the onions, carrot and celery for 5 minutes, stirring. Add garlic and cook for another 3 minutes before removing mixture to a bowl.
  4. In the same pot, sear the lamb shanks in 2 batches until brown on all sides (about 5 minutes). Add extra oil if necessary for cooking shanks.  Return all four shanks to the pot, and add in cooked vegetables and all remaining ingredients. Place the lid on your post and bring to a simmer, then transfer to the oven for 2 1/2 hours.
  5. Alternatively, after browning the lamb shanks, transfer all ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours until meat is tender.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve lamb shanks on a bed of mashed potatoes with ladles of sauce and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
  • Reduce leftover sauce until it thickens and serve as a rich pasta sauce with penne and generous amounts of parmesan.