The best cuts of lamb for a slow cooker include lamb shanks and lamb shoulder, both of which can be tough unless cooked for a long time. In this dish, the shanks cook for 8 hours at low temperature, yielding tender, melt-in-your-mouth results. Serve alongside mashed potatoes or polenta for a hearty winter Sunday supper.
Slow-Cooker Lamb Shanks with Gremolata
- 4 lamb shanks (about 1 lb./500 g each)
- Kosher salt
- 1 Tbs. coarsely ground peppercorns
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 4 large shallots, minced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp. tomato paste
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) red wine
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) beef broth
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Season the lamb generously with salt, then press each shank into the peppercorns to coat all sides.
2. In a large fry pan over high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Working in batches, sear the lamb until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a slow cooker, arranging the shanks in a single layer as much as possible.
3. In the same pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the shallots and 1 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are tender, about 5 minutes. Add half of the garlic, the rosemary, and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer. Cook until the wine is reduced to about 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml), about 10 minutes. Stir in the broth and transfer the mixture to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat until tender, about 8 hours.
4. Transfer the lamb shanks to a platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Skim off any fat from the surface of the sauce. Using a blender, puree the sauce until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
5. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon zest, parsley and the remaining garlic. Top the lamb shanks with some sauce and gremolata. Serve with the remaining sauce and gremolata alongside. Serves 4.
Discover new ways to plan easy meals with the magic of the slow cooker in our Slow Cooker Cookbook.