Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Root Vegetables

The weather in the UK is very much autumnal. Rain, wind and then suddenly a day of beautiful chilly sunshine takes you by surprise and makes you smile. We´re here to enjoy the experience, and that most certainly includes eating and drinking the best of what the region has to offer.

Before we had spent considerable time in England Big Man was a bit perplexed as to why a leg of English (or Welsh) lamb could feed a family, when in Spain a leg of lamb would feed two people. Now he understands that our English lambs don´t have to scramble up rugged mountains in search of food in a dry dusty landscape. Big doesn´t mean tough when you have grazed on flat salt marshes. And yes, English Lamb is delicious he agrees.

What does come in perfect one sized portions though, is the lamb shank. That lower portion of the leg with plenty of sweet tasting meat which responds particularly well to slow cooking. Perfect for chilly autumn nights after a long day of work.

Ingredients for two people

  • Two lamb shanks
  • Four carrots, peeled and cut into quarters
  • Two parsnips, peeled and cut lengthways into thick slices
  • About a dozen small onions or a large onion cut into large chunks
  • Four large cloves of garlic, peeled
  • A sprig of rosemary
  • A large glass of red wine
  • About 500ml of chicken or lamb stock
  • A heaped tablespoon of tomato purée
  • Flour
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoning

Coat the lamb in flour and fry in a little olive oil until lightly browned. Put into a casserole dish with all the other ingredients and cook in the oven on low for about 4-6 hours while you put up a bathroom wall, realise you´ve put it in the wrong place, take it down and put it back up again. Ok, the DIY bit is optional. Serve with mashed or boiled potatoes, or (as I did) with slices of grilled polenta and a glass of that lovely wine you opened to put into the dish. Any leftover juices and vegetables can be turned into soup the next day by adding a little more stock or water and a handful of angel hair pasta.

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54 thoughts on “Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Root Vegetables

  1. You got beautiful chilly sunshine! Hurumph, all we’ve had is mist and drizzle for 2 days.
    Very nice looking shanks, I have a little winter creation in the oven too, to dispel the doom and gloom 😉

  2. I remember when lamb shanks were humble food that you could buy here in lamb rich Australia for 4 for $1! Now, thanks to the plethora of chefs who laud them and who got everyone seeking these melt in the mouth morsels to slow braise and serve with garlic mash they are up to $6 each…sigh…oh well, next step…get some lambs to graze the back paddock methinks? 😉 I totally agree with you about the hard work and that rewarding slow cooked meal at the end of the day. NOTHING tastes as good as hard work and to top it with a soul food meal ends your day perfectly. We are in the process of making enormous raised veggie garden beds and planting out our very first veggie garden on Serendipity Farm. I am so excited about it all! Soon we will have our own fresh home grown veggies and a series of processes that will again leave me knackered at the end of the day. Cheers for this wonderful soul food recipe. Cheers also for reminding us that life is in the processes and that processes that take a lot of energy are the most rewarding physically, mentally and spiritually 🙂

    1. What a wonderful comment – I so agree with what you say. I remember when I first moved “proper” to Spain and we planted out a tiny strip of garden with a few bits of salad and veggies and how happy and proud I was to be able to go out and pick food for us to eat. Now we can count on something “home grown” (even if it´s just the olive oil and lemons) for every meal and the pleasure and satisfaction it gives us is enormous Stick with the dream, you´ll soon be enjoy the fruits of your labours and nothing will ever taste quite so good! PS. I know what you mean about the price of ingredients, itñs the same in the UK with things like pig cheeks, or neck of lamb…it´s become trendy and therefore expensive…ridiculous!

  3. Aaaah, All my favourite food choices – lamb shanks, carrots, parsnips, onions, garlic and rosemary. Best of all the red wine. One glass in the food; the rest of the bottle with the food. Heaven.

  4. I have lamb shanks in the freezer, waiting, waiting for the perfect recipe!! YUM! oh dear isn’t that dreadful. poor wee lambies,, ah well .. YUM! c

  5. I love a great leg of lamb, lamb chops and a rack of lamb.. I haven’t made a recipe using the shanks before, but this one is tempting!! I just got out my slow-cooker for the first time tonight.. I love foods that simmer and fill our home with the wonderful scent of food cooking!

  6. My absolute and utter weakness! Don’t know when it started, but ’tis been there a long while!! As nafr77 has said: impossible in price in Oz – no longer what all my pups had to chew on! But a gal has to have what she’s got to have!! A lovely recipe!!!!

    1. It´s s shame isn´t it when the sellers (who previously could barely shift a product) jump on that high price/trendy bandwagon. At least if you do buy some the pups can have the bones afterwards!

  7. I’ve a pair of lamb shanks in the freezer and I’m just waiting for the weather to cool a bit before i give them a slow braise, too. Mom loved them, as did Dad & I. If, for whatever reason, my Sis & Brother missed dinner, Mom served up lamb shanks and the 3 of us feasted. It was our special dinner. No matter how many times I’ve had them since, they still have that “special” feeling about them and just seeing the title of your post, Tanya, brought a smile. 🙂

    1. Ah, it´s funny how certain foods bring back such strong memories – you can almost smell the dish and feel the steam wafting up towards your nostrils! Hope you enjoy your shanks when the weather turns cooler….not long now for you I guess.

  8. LOVE lamb! Have you made him a Lancashire Hotpot yet? I may be biased but it’s a perfect autumnal dish.

      1. Isn’t it just the most fabulous Autumn dinner. We had it for our wedding dinner (we were married in November), cooked by Nigel Haworth of Great British Menu fame. Spectacular!

  9. I don’t know why, but I’ve only ever cooked lamb ground. I love it, but I just don’t make it. This dish is so warming…almost stew like in its look, which is delicious and perfect for the season! 🙂

  10. What Claire said – love lamb! Mmmm… and I remember the “good old days” when butchers practically paid you to take the shanks away! Ah well… mmmmm!

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