Lamb Shanks in a Slow Cooker


Slow cookers have been around for years, and some people refer to them as a crockpot. That name seems to have some connotations of tasteless mush, however the slow food movement advocates cooking food slowly to extract maximum flavour and tenderness.

These shanks were one of the first things I cooked in my cooker after I purchased it. I left the cooker on for 10 hours as an experiment to see how it would work if I left it on while at work. The moisture level hardly changed at all, so I know that I will not have to worry about the cooker drying out and burning down the house! The shanks themselves were melt in the mouth soft, and literally fell off the bone.

This recipe serves four. Don’t worry about the large quantity of garlic, when cooked this way the garlic almost tastes creamy and is far more delicate that when chopped and sauteed.


4 lamb shanks, sliced in half
2 sticks celery
3 medium carrots
6 to 8 medium button mushrooms
olive oil
3 medium onions, sliced
20 cloves garlic, whole, including skin
rice flour
cumin, ground
paprika, mild or hot
fish sauce
400g can of tomatoes, chopped
500mL vegetable stock
lemon zest
chopped parsley


Chop celery, carrots and mushrooms into chunky pieces and place in bottom of slow cooker dish.


Heat a heavy bottom fry pan and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add the sliced onions and cook gently until soft. Then add garlic cloves, and cook together until golden. Remove and set to one side.

Mix together about 1/2 cup rice flour with a teaspoon cumin, a teaspoon paprika and plenty of fresh ground black pepper. Coat the shanks evenly in the spiced flour, and fry in oil until nicely browned on all sides. Near the end of cooking, splash some fish sauce over the shanks. This helps to add flavour and salt, as well as assisting the browning process. It will not add any fishy flavour to the final dish. (trust me)


Place the shanks into the crockpot on top of the vegetables, then add the garlic and onion evenly over the top. Pour the stock and tomatoes over the top.

Turn the cooker to auto or low, and leave the cooker for at least 6 hours (I left it for 10) before checking the meat to see if it is ready.

To serve, mix through the zest of one lemon and some chopped parsley. I served this with qinoa, however rice, buttered noodles and mashed potato would all be nice.


~ by aadbro on January 7, 2007.

2 Responses to “Lamb Shanks in a Slow Cooker”

  1. I found this to be good. The flavor is nice but it would be better if the sauce was thicker. I would add tomato paste to thicken it up a bit

  2. sounds amazing!!

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