Crock Pot Lamb Shanks

Crock pot lamb shanks in a serving dish

The Spruce 

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
412 Calories
21g Fat
20g Carbs
31g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 412
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 106mg 35%
Sodium 660mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 25mg 123%
Calcium 110mg 8%
Iron 4mg 25%
Potassium 982mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

slow cooker is the perfect cooking vehicle for fall-off-the-bone-tender lamb shanks. Lamb shanks are a cut taken from either the shoulder (foreshank) and arm of a lamb or the upper part of the leg (hind shank).

Shanks are full of connective tissue and, as such, are some of the toughest meat on the animal. Because of this, the shanks are ideal candidates for long, slow braising to tenderize the tough meat. This lamb shank recipe is flavored with garlic, onions, mushrooms, herbs, red wine, and tomatoes.

These lamb shanks are delicious served as is, or over mashed potatoes or alongside rice. Peas and carrots are also good sides with lamb.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced, separated into rings

  • 4 lamb shanks

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Dash of freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, brushed clean, cut in half

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • 1/2 cup double-strength beef broth

  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 bay leaf, broken in half

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather your ingredients.

    Ingredients for crock pot lamb shanks
    The Spruce 
  2. Spread sliced and separated onion rings on the bottom of the slow cooker.

    Onions in crock pot
    The Spruce
  3. Rub lamb shanks with Worcestershire sauce, then sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.

    Lamb shanks with spices
    The Spruce
  4. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and brown the lamb shanks.

  5. Place browned lamb shanks, along with any browned bits from the skillet, in the slow cooker, on top of the onions. Top with whole garlic cloves and mushrooms.

    Lamb Shanks and ingredients in crock pot
    The Spruce
  6. In a medium bowl, mix together the red wine, beef broth, tomatoes, oregano, basil, thyme, allspice, and bay leaf. Pour mixture over the vegetables and lamb shanks.

    Lamb shanks with sauce over the top
    The Spruce
  7. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until tender and until an instant-read thermometer reaches 145 F. Remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

    Lamb shanks cooking in crock pot
    The Spruce
  8. Serve with pan juices and vegetables. Enjoy!

    Lamb shanks in bowl
    The Spruce

Do Lamb Shanks Need To Be Submerged?

When cooking lamb shanks in a slow cooker, you don't need to completely submerge them in liquid. Keep in mind that a slow cooker will evaporate liquid much more slowly than if you braised these lamb shanks in the oven at a low temperature.

Tips

  • You may wish to make this a day ahead of time and refrigerate. This way you can easily scrape off the excess fat from the gravy before reheating and serving.
  • The garlic cloves are extremely mild when cooked whole. If you like a stronger garlic flavor, mince some of the garlic before adding to the slow cooker.

How to Store and Freeze Lamb Shanks

Lamb will keep in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 3 to 4 days, and in the freezer, for up to 3 months.

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