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Balsamic and tomato slow-cooked lamb shanks

Serves   4
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 8 hrs

Although the shank is one of the least tender parts of the lamb (meaning it has excellent flavour), when it’s slow cooked, it falls off the bone. That’s why these balsamic & tomato slow cooker lamb shanks are a firm favourite. Make this beautiful dish to impress for a date night, or dinner party. The simple flavours marry together to give a rich and flavoursome sauce that will leave everyone wanting more.

Balsamic and tomato slow cooked lamb shanks




  • 4 Quality Mark lamb shanks
  • 1/4 cup white flour
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 thinly sliced onions
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2x 400g tins canned tomatoes chopped
  • 3 peeled and sliced carrots
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of black pepper

To serve

  • Parsley
  • Mashed potato
  • Seasonal greens


To prepare the lamb:
  1. Turn your slow cooker to low. In a small bowl, mix the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Next you need to coat the lamb shanks in flour, shaking off any excess.
  3. Heat a frying pan to moderate-high heat on the stove-top and add half the olive oil. Brown the lamb shanks, turning often to brown all over. Set lamb aside.
To prepare the sauce:
  1. Add the remaining oil to the pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion starts to soften, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the thyme, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, tomatoes and carrots, season to taste. Stir well and bring to a gentle bubble then remove from the heat.
To slow cook:
  1. Add the sauce to the slow cooker and the lamb shanks on top. It is best to have the bone sticking upwards to ensure the meat is covered by the sauce.
  2. Spoon the sauce over any exposed meat.
  3. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 8 hours or high for approx 4 hours, or until the meat tender and easily pulled from the bone.
To serve
  1. Once cooked you may need to thicken the sauce further. You can do this by removing the shanks from the sauce carefully and setting aside, then simmer the sauce rapidly in a saucepan to reduce it. Additionally, you can thicken with a water and flour paste over heat.
  2. Serve shanks and sauce on-top creamy potato or kumara mash with a generous side of seasonal greens.
  3. Garnish the lamb shanks with fresh parsley.