This recipe for slow cooker lamb shanks is sure to warm your heart, belly and soul and is a sinch to pull off in your slow cooker.
There are a lot of things I dislike about Canadian winters. Here’s a short list: snow on the road, snow on the sidewalk, snow on my driveway, rain-snow (the worst), being scared to drive, being too cold to go on weekend walks, blistering wind on my skin, dry skin, dry hair, dry nails, watering eyes ruining freshly done make-up, wind ruining hair, putting on and taking off multiple layers just to run next-door, shorter days (why is it always dark!?), feeling like never leaving the house etc. etc. etc. There’s a lot I don’t like about winter. But what I do like about winter is its characteristic warm homey food that warms the body and soul.
Last week, I knew I was going to have a busy day. I was in back to back meetings since lunch, and had a dance class right before dinner needed to get on the table. That meant it was going to be a slow cooker night.
Slow cooker cooking is particularly pleasurable during those wintery months because it perfumes the whole house with yummy smells which means my man comes home and says, “it smells so good in here!” Best-thing-to-hear-ever.
This is a classic recipe for slow cooker lamb shanks that totally frees up my oven and gets dinner on the table fast.
You can use other herbs and spices in these Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks depending on your preference, but I love the big aromatic flavour of rosemary with lamb and red wine. I served this up with a side of cauliflower and celeriac puree, but polenta would be a nice accompaniment too.
What comfort food recipes would you like to see me create to satisfy your soul this winter? Have you tried making slow cooker lamb shanks before?
Crockpot Braised Lamb Shanks with Mushrooms and Rosemary
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 lamb shanks trimmed of most of the visible fat
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 3 stalks of celery diced
- 1/2 onion diced
- 500 g cremini mushrooms stems removed
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 3/4 cup reduced fat beef stock
- 2 tbsp grainy mustard
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 tbsp rosemary minced
- Rind of 1/2 large or 1 small orange (not zested, just removed in a strip)
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Preheat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides.
- Remove the lamb shanks and put them in the crockpot.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the carrots, celery and onion. Saute for 5-7 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and garlic and stir for another minute.
- Deglaze with wine and scrape up any of the bits on the pan. Transfer everything to the crockpot. Add the beef stock, mustard, bay leaf, rosemary, and orange rind. Cook on high for 6 hours.
- Before serving, stir in the vinegar and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Skim off any visible fat from the surface of the sauce and discard. Serve on mashed root vegetables or polenta with some of the cooked veg and sauce.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian, an avid food writer and blogger, a cookbook author and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc.