Mediterranean-Style Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Lamb
  • Cuts of lamb
  • Lamb shank

A succulent, tender and totally moreish lamb dish. Enjoy with mashed potatoes, if desired.

6 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1 tablespoon gyros seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon steak seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 115g aubergine and garlic spread, such as baba ganoush
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon capers
  • 500ml beef stock
  • Garlic Sauce
  • 100g natural yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:3hr ›Ready in:3hr30min

  1. Rub lamb shanks with gyros seasoning, steak seasoning and olive oil. Place in the pot of the slow cooker.
  2. In a large jug, combine the aubergine spread, onion, capers and beef stock. Mix well and pour over the lamb.
  3. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours.
  4. To make the garlic sauce: mix together the yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice, spring onion, dill and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Cover and chill until needed.
  5. Serve shanks on top of mashed potato, spoon some of the sauce on top then drizzle with yoghurt-garlic sauce.


Gyros seasoning can be found in Mediterranean speciality shops or online.

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Braised Lamb Shanks (using slow cooker)

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Braising is an excellent method of cooking when it comes to tough meats. Braising is classically done by, first, browning the meat on all sides on a hot skillet. This helps to seal the moisture inside the meat. The meat is then placed in a pot with a lid and is cooked with a small amount of liquid for a long time at low heat. This method of cooking results in a juicy, tender dish with rich flavour and moisture.

For this particular recipe I will be using a slow cooker, or “crockpot”. This is an appliance which cooks food at very low temperatures for a very long time. However, if you do not have a slow cooker, you can make this recipe using your oven and a roasting pot with a lid. I have written the slow cooker version of this recipe below.

This recipe is very similar to my Osso Bucco recipe (Braised Beef Shanks) and you can substitue Beef or Veal Shanks for the Lamb and make a tasty Osso Bucco.

I would serve this dish with creamy mashed potatoes if cooking this dish at home. But if I was trying to wow a crowd (I wouldn’t have to try hard with this dish) I would serve it on a bed of Spatzle or Pearled Barley with Herbs, which would absorb much of the rich sauce. As for a wine pairing Any wine that you enjoy is the perfect wine! However, a bold Red Wine such as Shiraz or Merlot would go quite nicely with this winter dish.

Years ago I had these amazing lamb shanks at a Persian restaurant in California. I have cooked it several times over the years and now have perfected it to this stunningly delicious recipe here.

And the bonus with browning and then slow cooking lamb shanks is that it gives the sauce time to cook to silky perfection.

This is my go-to recipe for lamb shanks in the slow cooker. It is so easy and the meat comes out perfect every time.

You can’t beat a delicious meal of Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks. This recipe is so easy that anyone can make it, you just throw all of the ingredients in the Slow Cooker in the morning and then that night they will be perfect. I have used carrots and onion in my version but you can add other vegetables if you have them on hand.

To make this tasty dish simply add the onion, carrot, tomatoes, stock, cumin and bay leaves to a slow cooker or crock pot. Make a cut at the top of the shank, this helps the meat bunch up while cooking, then add them in with the rest of the ingredients. I don’t bother browning my shanks as I think if they are cooked until the meat is falling off the bone you can’t tell the difference.

The slow cooker is great for putting large cuts of meat in. No need to slice and dice, the slow cooker does all the work. If you appreciate that style of cooking, check out my recipes for Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Soup as well as Pulled Pork Bao Buns.

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Is Lamb Good For You?

Lamb is a source of vitamin B12, B6 and zinc which can help the immune system work properly

Lamb is a rich source of vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 helps energy production in the body

Vitamin B12 helps the nervous system work normally

Vitamin B12 helps red blood cell formation

Vitamin B12 helps the immune system work normally

Vitamin B12 helps reduce tiredness and fatigue

Lamb is naturally rich in protein, low in salt and provides seven vitamins and minerals that contribute towards good health and wellbeing. These are: niacin (vitamin B3), vitamins B6 and B12, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and pantothenic acid.

Braised Lamb Shanks

Seasoned with a blend of Mediterranean herbs and spices, these braised lamb shanks are pure bliss.

You will want to plan ahead to make these delectable lamb shanks, but the results are so worth it. When marinating overnight in a Persian-inspired combination of spices, the lamb takes on a whole new level of flavor. You can even make the dish up to 2 days ahead of time - just reheat and serve. This certainly is a company-worthy dish that is so easy to reheat and serve on the day of your dinner party.

The lamb shanks get a brief sear in the Dutch oven and then are ready for the oven. While the hands-on time is minimal, the dish will look and taste like you have fussed over it all day.

Serve the braised lamb shanks with a side of rice, steamed vegetables and a loaf of crusty French bread for a drool-worthy dinner.


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil on a large fry pan on moderate high heat and brown shanks for approximately 10 minutes, turning regularly. Place shanks in slow cooker
  2. Turn fry pan heat to medium and heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Add onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook until softened, approximately 5 - 8 minutes
  3. Add tomato paste and stir through for approximately 1 minute
  4. Add stock, tomato and herbs and bring to the boil
  5. Add to the shanks in the slow cooker and cook for 6-7 hours on low heat.
  6. Remove the shanks and cover to keep warm. Turn the slow cooker heat to high and cook liquid, uncovered for approximately 30 - 60 minutes or until thickened slightly
  7. Serve and enjoy

Mediterranean-Style Wine Braised American Lamb Shanks with Vegetables

In a small bowl, add all the spice mix ingredients and mix to combine.

Pat the lamb shanks dry and season with the spice mix on all sides.

In a large Dutch oven pot like this one, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the lamb shanks on all sides (about 8 mins or so). Transfer the lamb shanks to a large tray or bowl for now. Carefully dispose of extra fat in a separate heat-safe bowl, and return the pot to heat.

Now add the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes. Saute for 5-7 minutes on medium-high, or until the vegetables gain some color. Add red wine, scrape the pot of brown bits. Cook briefly so that the wine reduces a bit.

Add the broth, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, thyme, and rosemary. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Return lamb shanks back to the pot press down to submerge. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn heat off.

Cover the pot and transfer to the 350 degrees F-heated oven. Cook in the oven for 2 1/2 hours (It’s a good idea to check periodically through cooking just in case you need to add a little more liquid. When the shanks finish cooking, the liquid will have reduced to about 1/3 of what it was when you started.)

While the lamb shanks are cooking, prepare rice according to this recipe, or prepare 2-3 cups of orzo pasta according to package instructions.

Serve the lamb shanks hot with a little of the veggies and braising sauce on top of rice or orzo pasta. You might also like to prepare a side salad like this 3-ingredient Mediterranean salad or Fattoush. Enjoy!

Prepare Ahead Instructions

These braised lamb shanks can be prepared 1 day ahead. Once cooked, let the lamb cool. Store the lamb shanks separate from the vegetables and braising liquid. Cover in a tight lid container and keep chilled in the fridge.

Bring to room temperature before heating. Place the lamb shanks in an oven-safe dish with 1/2 cup broth or water. Cover and heat in a 350 degree F heated-oven. Meanwhile, place the vegetables and braising liquid in a pot, add a little broth or water. Cover and warm over medium heat.

When ready to serve, you can transfer the lamb shanks to a platter and spoon the vegetables and liquid on top.
Slow Cooker Instructions

If you prefer to employ your slow cooker for this lamb shank recipe, use 1 less cup of wine. Follow the recipe until you boil everything together stove-top. Instead of transferring the pot to the oven, carefully transfer everything to the insert of your largest slow cooker. Set the slow cooker on low for 8 hours.

Slow-Cooker Lamb Shanks with Olives and Herbs

Browning the lamb shanks enriches the flavor of this dinner party–worthy dish that is inspired by the flavors of Provence. (If your slow cooker doesn’t have a flameproof insert, do the first three steps in a sauté pan on the stove top, then transfer the contents of the pan to the insert after bringing everything to a boil.) Serve soft Parmesan polenta alongside.

Slow-Cooker Lamb Shanks with Olives and Herbs


  • 4 lb. (2 kg) lamb shanks, in 4 equal pieces, each tied around the perimeter with kitchen string
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) hearty red wine
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups (8 to 12 fl. oz./250 to 375 ml) strained tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) pitted black olives such as Kalamata
  • 1 tsp. mild honey
  • 2 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish (optional)

1. Season the lamb shanks generously with salt and pepper.

2. Put the flameproof insert of a slow cooker on the stove top over medium-high heat, then add the oil and warm until hot. Add the lamb shanks and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a plate and set aside.

3. Pour off all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the insert and return the insert to medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the flour is fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Pour in the wine and simmer until it evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, orange juice, olives, honey, herbes de Provence, 1 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil.

4. Transfer the insert to the slow cooker and add the lamb shanks, submerging them in the liquid. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours. The lamb should be very tender.

5. Transfer the lamb shanks to a platter and cover to keep warm. Using a large spoon, skim off and discard as much fat as possible from the cooking liquid.

6. Snip the strings on the lamb shanks, then transfer the shanks to individual plates. Spoon the cooking juices over the shanks, garnish with the parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Learn to make the most of your slow cooker with this and other inspiring recipes in our Quick Slow Cooking , by Kim Laidlaw.


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