Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks

Lamb shanks are perfect for small portion cooking because each shank serves one person. Lamb shanks can be tough if they aren’t cooked properly but when you cook them in a slow cooker, they just melt off the bone because they are so tender.

There are lots of different cuts of lamb, and some are expensive, but lamb shanks are quite cheap. They are, however, sometimes a little fatty but, again, because of the slow cooking process, that fat comes off the meat so easily you can reduce the fat content of this meal in a few seconds flat!

This is one of my favorite Sunday dinners. I’ve found this recipe at BBC Good Food and adapt it to my slow cooker. I serve it with lots of fresh veggies and a glass of wine – it is Sunday after all! I think Sundays should be a day of rest and this meal, being so easy, fits that ethos perfectly.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours
Serves: two


  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon each cumin and coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 pinch of chili flakes
  • 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
  • 1-pint vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoon molasses
  • 4 dried apricots, chopped
  • 4 dried figs, chopped
  • 1 handful coriander, chopped


Set your slow cooker to High and leave to warm up. Brown the shanks in a frying pan for 3-5 minutes with a couple of tablespoons of oil, turning as you go. Remove and set aside.

Add remaining oil and onions to the pan and cook for about ten minutes until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and spices and cook for another four minutes.

Pour the tomatoes and stock into your crockpot and combine with all the remaining ingredients except for the molasses, apricots, and figs. Place the lamb shanks on top of the other ingredients. Place the lid on and turn your cooker down to Low. Cook for around four hours or until the meat is tender and falls off the bone.

Remove the lid and add in the molasses, apricots, and figs. Stir all the ingredients. Cook for 30 more minutes. Remove the lamb shanks and wrap in foil to keep warm. Use an stick blender to blitz the remaining ingredients into a thick and savory sauce.

Serve the shanks smothered in the sauce.

If you don’t have a slow cooker you can convert this recipe for the oven, find how here.

Recipe and picture from BBC Good Food.

More Slow Cooker Recipes

More ideas to use your slow cooker and prepare healthy meals here.

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More recipes here

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Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m so happy that you’re here! I've shared my story here

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