Quick prep but a long slow cook means these Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks are meltingly tender but packed full of flavour and the Red Wine Gravy is out of this world! Delicious served with wodges of creamy mashed potatoes and lots of green vegetables. (Cooking instructions given for both conventional oven and slow cooker / crock pot)
Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks
Lamb shanks are hands down one of my favourite cuts of lamb. They are packed full of flavour and, when slow cooked, as they are in this recipe, the texture is incredible – so beautifully tender!
Slow cooking lamb shanks in a mix of red wine and lamb (or beef) stock means both the meat AND the gravy have even more flavour.
Super quick and easy prep
The best thing about this recipe is that, even though it tastes like something you’d get in a smart restaurant, it’s actually really quick and easy to prepare – the oven (or slow cooker) does most of the work for you!
All you have to do is quickly brown the lamb shanks in a frying pan, lightly pan fry the veggies and then bubble the red wine and stock in the frying pan to get every last little bit of lamby flavour, before putting everything in a pot along with a few herbs and slow cooking.
You can just serve it as it is, but if you prefer a thicker gravy, simply remove the lamb shanks from the pot and thicken the gravy with a little cornflour mixed with water.
What to serve with Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks
I recommend serving these lamb shanks with mashed potatoes (to soak up all that delicious gravy) and green veg – especially dark green cabbage, which goes incredibly well with the red wine gravy.
Make it your own
You can absolutely adapt this recipe to your own preferences. For example, use sliced onions instead of shallots, use big chunks of normal carrots instead of baby carrots, add in some mushrooms instead of (or as well as) the celery, add bacon in with the shallots for extra flavour, use 2 teaspoons of dried mixed herbs instead of fresh herbs…
What is the best red wine for red wine gravy?
You want a fairly robust wine to stand up to the lamb – I recommend going for a Syrah/Grenache blend from the South of France – for example a Cotes du Rhone. A Spanish Rioja or Ribero del Duero would also work well here.
When using red wine in gravy, always use a wine you would also happily drink. It’s a mistake to go for something really cheap and nasty – or worse, a wine that’s been open for a long time and no longer good to drink… Remember the better the wine you put in the gravy, the better the gravy will taste!
What to drink with Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks
I recommend exactly the same wine to drink with this dish as you have put in it: a Syrah/Grenache blend from the South of France, a Spanish Rioja or Ribero del Duero.
Using the same wine in the dish and to drink with it definitely produces the best results!
Can you reheat Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks?
Absolutely! Place any leftover lamb and gravy in a plastic lidded container in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 3 days.
I find it’s best to reheat the lamb and gravy separately.
To reheat the lamb, place it on a preheated oven at 180 for 15-20 minutes, until the lamb is piping hot all the way through.
Reheat the gravy in a small saucepan until it is bubbling. Alternatively, you could reheat the gravy in the microwave.
Can you freeze Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks?
Yes! Place the cooked and cooled lamb and gravy in a plastic lidded container in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 1 month.
Defrost for 24 hours in the refrigerator, then reheat as above.
I don’t recommend freezing and reheating the shallots / carrots / celery, as they will become very mushy in texture, however you could mash these veggies into the gravy to give it more flavour (and then sieve it, if you don’t like the texture!).
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Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Red Wine Gravy
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 small lamb shanks (or 2 larger ones)
- 12 small shallots peeled (or 1 onion, sliced)
- 300 g baby carrots left whole (or normal carrots, cut into big chunks)
- 2 sticks of celery cut into big chunks
- 200 ml red wine
- 600 ml strong lamb or beef stock (I used 2 Kallo beef stock cubes)
- 8 whole garlic cloves peeled
- 2 sprigs rosemary (see note 1)
- 2 sprigs thyme (see note 1)
- 2 dried bay leaves (see note 1)
- 1 tablespoon cornflour (optional – see note 2)
- Mashed potatoes (or new potatoes, or roast potatoes, or crusty bread)
- Green vegetables (such as broccoli, green beans and dark green cabbage or greens)
Instructions for cooking Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks in the oven
- Pre-heat your oven to 160C / 140C fan / gas mark 3 / 325F.
- Lightly season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper.
- Heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan (preferably non-stick) over a high heat. Sear 2 of the lamb shanks for 2 minutes on each side. Repeat with the other 2 lamb shanks and place all 4 lamb shanks in an oven-proof dish.
- Lightly fry the shallots, baby carrots and celery in the same pan for 1 minute on a high heat – just to give the vegetables some colour, then tip the veggies into the oven-proof dish on top of the lamb.
- Pour the wine into the frying pan and allow to bubble over a high heat for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring back to the boil. Pour this red wine / stock mix into the oven-proof dish on top of the lamb and veggies.
- Add the whole garlic cloves and herbs to the pot and push down to submerge them in the liquid.
- Put a lid (or foil) on the oven-proof dish and place in the pre-heated oven for 2 hours.
- [Optional step, if you prefer a thicker gravy] When the lamb is done, take the dish out of the oven and remove the lamb. Pour the gravy and vegetables into a saucepan and place on the hob, on a medium heat. Mix together the cornflour and a very small amount of cold water, to make a paste that is the consistency of double (heavy) cream. Pour the cornflour mixture into the gravy and continue cooking until the gravy has thickened.
- Serve the lamb with mashed potatoes and green vegetables (or your choice of side dishes) and pour / spoon the gravy over the top.
Instructions for cooking Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks in a slow cooker
- Follow the recipe exactly as it is written above. However, instead of placing the lamb, vegetables and liquid in an oven-proof dish, put them in your slow cooker / crock pot.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
- Alternatively use 2 teaspoons of mixed herbs.
- You only need the cornflour if you want to thicken the gravy at the end. Depending on how thick you like your gravy, you might need 1 or 2 tablespoons of cornflour. (If you prefer, you can use regular flour instead of cornflour.)
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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