Slow-Cooker Braised Lamb Shanks

Slow-Cooker Braised Lamb Shanks

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Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 360 minutes
Servings: 4 Serves 4.
Braised in a slow cooker, these lamb shanks are falling-off-the-bone tender. Serve with buttery egg noodles, mashed potatoes or creamy polenta to soak up the flavorful sauce.


  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 lamb shanks, external fat trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine


Put the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaf in a slow cooker and stir to combine.

Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until nearly smoking. Add the shanks and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to the slow cooker.

Remove the sauté pan from the heat, pour in the wine and return to medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the pan bottom. Add the wine to the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 6 hours according to the manufacturers instructions. Transfer the lamb shanks to a large serving dish.

Remove the bay leaf from the cooking liquid. Using a blender or stick blender, puree the liquids and solids until smooth. Pour some of the sauce over the shanks and pass the rest alongside.
Serves 4.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rich and Hearty (if you like tomatoes) These turned out delicious, meat was tender and falling off the bone. I made some changes - I doubled the garlic and tomato paste as others suggested, I used canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh, 1/2 beef consomme 1/2 chicken broth, I browned the shanks in bacon fat (which I happened to have from breakfast that day), and sauteed the veggies for a few minutes after the shanks were done before throwing everything into the slow cooker. I substituted 1/4 c vinegar for the wine because I didn't have any. Added some worcestershire too. Not everyone in my family likes lamb, but they loved the sauce over rice. I did not find it to be bland - maybe upping the garlic and tomato paste plus the bacon fat gave it more depth.
Date published: 2018-01-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from boring recipe. i'd not make again what happened to the richness one expects in lamb shanks Not a very interesting recipe I'd search further next time
Date published: 2015-12-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very easy, great end result I just made this tonight, and as I don't usually review, I just have to. The meat fell of the bonnneeee, guys, so soft, so tender, so moist!! I do agree with other reviewers that it is a little bland, even though I only cooked for 2 (2 shanks) and kept all the original spices level. I tripled the garlic, add an extra rosemary tsp. I am however quite modest with my salt (which made a few of my dishes nightmarish) so that could be the problem. I'll def try this again with more spices tho!
Date published: 2013-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent method, needs some tweaks though We really enjoyed this recipe, but after trying it a couple times we have found some tweaks that we think improve it. First, using beef broth instead of chicken broth makes a bolder flavor. Second, double the garlic and the fresh thyme. Third, add an extra tablespoon of tomato paste. Finally, instead of fresh tomato, I use 1 can of petite diced tomatoes and the liquid. In my 6 qt. slow cooker with 8 shanks and a double batch of liquid and veggies, they meat was falling off the bone after 4 hours on high. I turned off the slow cooker, removed the shanks, strained the liquid and poured it through a gravy strainer to remove the fat and then returned the veggies and liquid to the slow cooker. I pureed it with a stick blender and then put the shanks back in and left it on low for another hour until we were ready to eat.
Date published: 2013-10-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Bland bland bland I would recommend the basics of this recipe, but with reservations. First off, lamb shanks do not fit into a normal-size slow cooker (duh) Even if you stuff them in, the lid wont fit on top. . That said, if someone has a slow-cooker that can handle a turkey, this is a decent if bland recipe. Regardless, it needs spicing up. As written it is boring boring boring. I jazzed up the sauce by reducing it with red wine and butter and adding herbs de provence. Still not a winner by any means. But the meat indeed fell off the bone, even with the bones sticking out the top of the slow cooker. Won't try this again. Too labor intensive for mediocre results.
Date published: 2013-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So easy and so Delicous I have made this a few times. I really think the red wine does so much for the bouquet and flavoring of this dish. Use fresh herbs if you have them. You can use this recipe for leg of lamb as well. As they say, it will fall off the bone. It's easy to make and your lamb loving guests will savor the memory
Date published: 2013-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simple and really, really good After reading the reviews I was worried this would turn out bland. I used extra celery and fresh thyme, I added fresh rosemary, and I used a can of italian style diced tomatoes (liquid included) instead of fresh - I always use Del Monte because they are very sweet... I didn't puree the sauce till smooth - I left chunks. it was absolutely delicious and very flavorful, the meat fell off the bone. I served it with plain whipped potatoes. It's very quick to prep. I will definitely make this again.
Date published: 2013-02-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Would be better with Mashed Potatoes I followed the recipe pretty close and it produced 5 cups of fluid. More than I expected or could use. I plan to reduce the left over sauce and use it with a leg of lamb roast. Four shanks only fed 2 of us. I think mashed potatoes would have been much more suitable for the sauce. The recipe photo shows noodles but recommends polenta.
Date published: 2012-11-03
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