Ok, I got the Lamb Shanks out of the freezer last night and thawed them overnight so they are right ready to crack on to this morning. I also got a beef rump roast out which is thawing in the fridge, for tomorrow night. I should mention at this point that last year we were lucky enough to get a homekill beef and a homekill lamb which is why I have these fancy schmancy meats in my freezer. Not meat I would necessarily buy, let alone be able to afford from the supermarket.
I have a packet in the pantry for slow cooking lamb shanks, one of those handy flavour sachets that require you to only add one or two ingredients. Which is fine, and I was absolutely intending to use this (under the justification that it was purchased before I declared No More Packets, so that’s ok, right?) until I decided that I might as well start now with the full cooking experience.
Until I discovered that EVERY Lamb Shank Slow Cooker recipe calls for red wine. I don’t drink red wine, Mr T doesn’t drink red wine (and I’m relatively confident the kids don’t drink red wine) so it seemed to me to be an unnecessary expense for the meal. Deciding to just not include it, I had a glance up at our wine cupboard and happened to notice this:
Hello there, Mr Bottle O’ Red Wine. No idea how you got here but great timing! On with the recipe!
I read a number of recipes that all seemed to follow along the same lines, so this is my interpretation based on ingredients I already have.
Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks
4 Lamb Shanks
1 C Red Wine (Note: you need a corkscrew to open red wine. No matter how hard you try, doing it with a knife WILL result in some of the cork ending up IN the wine. Rustic, I call it. Adds to the flavour)
1 Can Tomatoes
1 carrot (diced)
Herbs (Oregano and Rosemary is what I used)
To cook – brown the lamb shanks in oil until they are brown and crispy. Set aside. In the same pan, cook the onion and garlic, then add the can of tomatoes and the carrot. Cook for a bit then throw in the wine and the herbs. Allow it to bubble to burn of some of the alcohol then let it simmer for a bit.
Pour it into the bottom of the slow cooker then place the Lamb Shanks on top. Make sure that they are covered in liquid then set your slow cooker on high for 8 hours. Occasionally spoon sauce over the lamb.
Well, firstly, 8 hours on high is a bit too much, for my slow cooker anyway. By 4.5 hours the meat was already falling off the bone and looking cooked so at that point I turned it down to Low. And, I think I turned it off completely after 7 hours and let it just sit until dinner was ready.
I served these with mashed potato and veges (the only way to serve lamb shanks, really) and they were pretty delicious. Even Princess ate them, declaring “I LOVE MEAT!”. Baby girl wolfed it down as well 🙂
The downside is the work put into the meal. I want easy meals and this certainly wasn’t. Granted, a lot of the effort was unnecessary – I didn’t actually need to make my lamb shanks look like cooked ones by hacking and attacking them to expose the bone, because they actually go like that when they cook (thank YouTube for saving three out of four of mine). And of course, having a corkscrew for the wine would have saved a lot of time and effort as well!
I’ll call this one a win, if only because the effort warrants the score.