Slow cooked lamb shanks

This slow cooked lamb shanks recipe is one of the nicest ways to have lamb, and makes enough to feed the whole family

slow cooked lamb shanks
(Image credit: Getty)

Slow cooked lamb shanks are a thing of beauty on a cold winter's night: this flavoursome, nutritious cut of meat really benefits from slow cooking in wine and herbs and tastes delectable with mashed potatoes. 

Here, we've created our favourite recipe for a slow cooker but you can cook this in the oven easily – and we've provided instructions for that too. For absolutely the best flavour, we advise buying high-welfare, organic lamb. 

Not got the best slow cooker yet? The best deals are below. For more recipes ideas and food tips, see our hub page. 

Slow cooker lamb shank recipe


To make these beautifully tender slow cooked lamb shanks for four, you will need:

  • Lamb shanks, four
  • Inexpensive dry red wine, 750ml
  • Rosemary, fresh or dried, 25g
  • Thyme, fresh or dried, 25g
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Hot vegetable or chicken stock, 750ml
  • Bay leaves, four
  • A brown onion or four banana shallots, finely chopped
  • Two garlic cloves, peeled
  • Plain flour, 100g
  • Rapeseed or olive oil, two tablespoons


1. Preheat your slow cooker or oven (150ºC, 130ºC fan oven, gas mark 2).

2. Season the flour with salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. 

3. Tip the shanks into the mixing bowl and coat them in the flour evenly.

4. Warm the oil in a large frying pan on medium heat and quickly fry the shanks until they are lightly browned all over. Transfer into a slow cooker or oven-proof dish with lid (or you can use foil to cover your dish).

5. In the same frying pan you used for the shanks, begin to gently fry the onion and garlic, making sure nothing browns, just softens a little. Add the red wine and, while stirring frequently, let it reduce somewhat for about 10 minutes. 

6. Pour the wine, onion, and garlic over the lamb. Add the rosemary, thyme and bay and pour in the stock. The meat should be completely covered by the sauce.

7. Cook in the slow cooker on high for four hours or on low for six to eight hours; in the oven the lamb shanks will take around two to three hours. In both cases, you want to cook them until the meat falls easily off the bone, ensuring the sauce doesn't dry out. 

Serve with mashed potato, cooked lentils, or brown rice and be sure to try some of our other best slow cooker recipes also.

Read more slow cooker recipes: