Cooking with Jane: Slow cooker red wine braised lamb shanks

Such an easy dish to make, after the initial faff of browning the lamb the slower cooker does the lion’s share of the work and the house smells great all day.
What you need: feeds 4

  • 4 lamb shanks (I got mine from Clarke’s butchers)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 500ml red wine (needs to be full bodied i.e. Rioja)
  • 100ml balsamic vinegar
  • 300ml lamb or beef stock
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 4 small sprigs fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 125 chorizo
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 tablespoon runny hunny
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour

You will also need a slow cooker and a large frying pan.

How to make:

1. Turn the slow cooker to the Low setting
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the frying pan, add the lamb shanks (you may have to do two at a time) and season all over with salt and pepper (Photo 1).
3. Brown all over, this may take some time but worth doing for the flavour. (Photo 2). Remove from pan once browned and put to one side.
4. Pour the wine and vinegar into the frying pan and boil rapidly for 5 minutes. (Photo 3). The add the lamb or beef stock and bring back to a gentle simmer.
5. Slice the whole garlic bulb in half horizontally (Photo 4). Peel and chop the carrots into chunks. Peel and chop the onion into wedges. Add the garlic, carrots, onion, bay leaves and 2 of the rosemary sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary to the bottom of the slow cooker (Photo 5).
6. Sit the lamb on top of the veg in the slow cooker. Chop the chorizo into rounds and sprinkle around the lamb (Photo 6).
7. Pour over the stock/wine carefully as will be very hot. Add the last 2 Rosemary sprigs or sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary. Put on the lid and cook for 7-8 hours. (Photo 7).
8. At the end of the cooking remove the lamb and keep warm by covering tightly with foil. Pour the sauce and veg into the frying pan. In a small bowl make a paste using cold water and the cornflour then stir in the honey. Stir this mixture into the sauce to thicken it, bring to the boil for a couple of minutes. Then serve with the lamb, this is a really filling dish so you don’t need much with it. (Photo 8)Enjoy

For more information on Jane Cooper and other recipes visit the Cooking with Jane page here.