Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks (with Red Wine Sauce)

Slow cooked shanks recipe

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Tender slow-cooker lamb canes, gently simmered in a tasty and rich red wine sauce until the meat falls out of the bone.

Tender lamb pieces are something I used to eat only in restaurants; the best I’ve ever had were at an Indian restaurant in Cardiff. But not anymore; Cooking lamb chunks is easy, and this slow-cooker lamb cane recipe is no exception.

This easy recipe would make a perfect meal for Easter this year; it’s incredibly delicious, can be cooked ahead of time and reheated, and (except for the slow cooking time) is straightforward and quick to prepare.

And if you like hocks or hocks, try our Slow Cooker Pork Hocks or German Crispy Pork Hocks. Or check out more lamb recipes; the shoulder of lamb in the slow cooker, the recipe for lamb shoulder cooked over low heat or the leg of lamb roasted in white wine are also perfect centerpieces for Easter.

What are lamb canes?

Pieces of lamb cut from the lower sections of the lamb leg, below the knee.

They are a cheap cut of meat, cheaper than other parts of the animal.

The stems are perfect for slow cooking and serving in a rich, thick sauce. The long cooking process causes the meat to melt tender; It will fall off the bone.

Ingredients of the recipe

  • Lamb canes: one piece per person. I was a fool to think that my little 10-year-old daughter won’t make it a whole piece; She did…
  • Vegetables: a large onion, carrots, celery sticks, garlic.
  • Wine: Mid-range price, full-bodied red wine. It should be a good quality brand, something you’d also enjoy drinking, but it doesn’t have to be super expensive. I tend to buy something that costs between 5 and 10 euros.
  • Broth: Lamb broth is the perfect fit, but replace it with beef or chicken broth if you don’t have it. Meat broth has a more robust taste, but chicken broth or broth will also be fine.
  • Herbs: Rosemary, thyme, bay leaf. Fresh rosemary or fresh thyme are also great.
  • Other ingredients: cornstarch to thicken the sauce to your liking, a little sugar and balsamic vinegar to deepen the flavor of the sauce. And, of course, you will need salt and pepper.


  • lamb pieces in a large bowl (for example, a baking dish) (1), sprinkle with flour, salt, and pepper, and rub them together to cover them all over. Shake or pat to remove excess flour (2).
  • Brown meat: Heat the oil in a large skillet or skillet. Brown the flesh everywhere; It will take about 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Rotate them often to make sure all sides are well colored (3,4).

Meanwhile, chop the vegetables (5).

  • Transfer the meat to the slow cooker
  • .

  • Brown vegetables: If necessary, add another tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil. Cook vegetables for about 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring often (6).
  • Add tomato paste and about 1/2 tablespoon of flour (you can use the leftover flour flour the canes). Stir well (7).
  • Pour the red wine and stir well for about a minute.
  • Add broth, fine sea salt, black pepper, dried rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves (8).

Pour the cooking liquids

  • into the slow cooker over the meat (9
  • ).

  • Cook over high heat for 4 hours or simmer for 8 hours (10).
  • Make sure the slow-cooked lamb pieces are tender and melt. Check them with a fork; You should be able to pull the flesh out of the bone easily.
  • If they’re not already there, give them another 30 minutes, then check again until they fall apart.

How to make red wine sauce?

  • Remove the slow-cooked lamb chunks from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Place them in a warm dish and keep them warm while preparing the red wine sauce.
  • Carefully pour the braised liquid and vegetables into a large skillet (11).
  • Whisk about 2 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch with a little cold water in a small bowl until you have a thick but pouring paste.
  • Once the sauce begins to boil gently, start beating in the cornstarch mixture. Stir well and leave to bubble gently until sauce thickens until desired consistency; It should take 2 to 4 minutes (12).
  • Adjust the flavor with salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. You may want to add a teaspoon of sugar (see expert advice below).

Expert advice

It is not always necessary to adjust the flavor of the sauce with sugar; sometimes, I think the sauce needs it, and sometimes it does not. It all depends on the brand of wine you’re using; Some may be more acidic than others.

However, I rarely leave out balsamic vinegar; I put it in all the sauces (and soups) I make; It balances dishes perfectly, adding just that touch of acidity you need to elevate flavors.

Frequently asked questions

about recipes

What is served with slow-cooked lamb cane?

Mashed potatoes

are my No. 1 choice, whether it’s regular mashed potatoes or mashed potatoes with garlic and roasted parmesan for a more festive twist.

Try the

cauliflower and potato puree or the creamy carrot and Swedish puree; Both are delicious.

You can also serve the slow cooker lamb pieces with crispy white bread to clean that shine, luxurious red wine sauce, boiled potatoes, rice or pasta.

Suitable vegetarian side dishes: peas with butter, French-style green beans, buttered vegetables, whole roasted cauliflower, etc.

More lamb recipes Sharing

is caring! Culinary specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

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