Lamb shank recipe
Want to get a handle on slow-cooked comfort food? With lamb shanks, you get hearty, fall-off-the-bone deliciousness every time. If you want to know how to cook lamb shanks, just remember low and slow is the way to go. The long slow cooking time breaks down this tough cut and turns it sticky and meltingly tender. Lamb shanks are a great cut to choose for any slow cooked lamb recipe because cooking on the bone adds lots of extra flavour.
The most popular cooking style for lamb shanks is lamb shank stew or braised lamb shanks. This means the lamb shanks are cooked slowly in liquid until fall-apart tender. When it comes to the choice of braising liquid, red wine lamb shanks are an all-time favourite. This recipe is a twist on the French red wine stew, beef bourguignon or beef Burgundy, which is one of those classic recipes that every cook should know how to make.
Equipment you will need for cooking lamb shanks
There are a few different ways you can slow cook lamb shanks – on the stovetop, in the slow cooker or in the oven. This recipe uses the stovetop method, but it’s easy to adapt the recipe to one of the other methods if you prefer. For either stovetop or oven cooking, you’ll need a large flameproof casserole pan. This is convenient for both cooking and serving because it can go straight from the stove or oven to the table. If you want to use the oven, after bringing the mixture to the boil in step 2, turn off the heat, cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Bake at 160°C for 2 hours or until the lamb is falling off the bone. To use a slow cooker, you’ll need to brown the lamb shanks and cook the bacon, mushrooms, shallots and garlic in a large frying pan on the stovetop first, then transfer them to the slow cooker before adding the liquid. Cook for 4 hours on high or 7 hours on low or until the lamb is very tender.
Ingredients you will need for cooking lamb shanks
Aim for one lamb shank per person. To create extra flavour in the finished dish, it’s important to brown the lamb shanks well before slow cooking. To do this, heat oil in the casserole pan (or frying pan if you’re using a slow cooker) and toss the lamb shanks in 2 tbs plain flour. Adding flour helps create a caramelised crust on the lamb and also helps the liquid to thicken as it cooks. Brown the lamb shanks well, then remove them from the pan to cook the bacon. You’ll need 4 bacon rashers, coarsely chopped – you want to be able to see pieces of bacon in the finished dish.
The veggies you will need for this dish are 12 small brown shallots and 200g mushrooms. For the best presentation, peel the shallots but leave them whole. If you can’t find shallots, you could substitute 2 brown onions, cut into large wedges. If you’re using button mushrooms you can leave them whole, but larger cup mushrooms should be cut in half or quartered to make even sized pieces. After frying the mushrooms and shallots until golden, add 2 crushed garlic cloves to the pan – you don’t want to add garlic too early as it can burn easily.
Now you can return the lamb shanks and bacon to the pan and add a little more flour to help the sauce thicken. For the liquid ingredients, add beef stock and red wine to create a full-flavoured braising liquid. If you don’t want to use alcohol, it’s fine to swap out the wine for extra beef stock. Then, for extra flavour, add a tablespoon of tomato paste and the herbs. The combination of dried bay leaves and fresh thyme is the key to creating aromatic flavour in French-style stews and casseroles like this one.
Once all the ingredients have been added to the pot, all you have to do is get the liquid simmering, cover with the lid and leave it to cook for a couple of hours. Remember to turn the lamb shanks occasionally to make sure they cook evenly.
What to serve with lamb shanks
To finish the lamb shanks, sprinkle over some extra thyme sprigs for freshness. These lamb shanks are delicious with buttery mashed potato on the side. Another great way to serve them is with pasta – just cook the pasta following packet directions and toss with a little butter before serving.
Now Get Cooking
Try this lamb shank recipe and find out how easy it is to enjoy a hearty and comforting meal of classic red wine lamb shanks. Got leftovers? Use them up in a lamb shank shepherd’s pie or topped with pastry for an easy slow cooked lamb shank pie. If you love the taste of lamb shanks and want to explore different flavours, we have some great recipes for you to try. Want more global recipe ideas? Get out the slow cooker and make Moroccan-style lamb shanks with couscous, Mongolian lamb shanks or lamb shank korma. Plus, find more slow-cooked recipes using beef, pork or chicken in our slow cooker recipes collection. Want a speedy shortcut? Grab ready-braised lamb shanks from Coles in our red wine lamb shanks with creamy mash recipe.