Slow Cooker Honey Balsamic Lamb Shanks – Create a delicious, complex, and sophisticated meal with just five minutes of prep time. Seriously!
I came across some delicious-looking lamb shanks at the grocery store last week and I just had to buy them.
Have you ever bought something at the grocery store without thinking? After returning home it suddenly hit me that I had no clue what to do with my delicious (and a bit pricey) lamb.
When I think of a good lamb shank, I think of a piece of meat that has been cooked slowly and patiently to perfection. The problem is that I don’t have the patience to wait by the oven all day. Not to mention that the idea of keeping my gas stove on for a few hours during the summer sounds dreadful!
Having brought my lamb home, it then occurred to me that I should just throw it in the slow cooker!
At first glance, the slow cooker seems a little undignified for something like lamb shanks. A cut of meat that can be somewhat hard to find is deserving of a little more TLC than throwing it in the pot and forgetting about it!
This recipe literally takes 5 minutes to prep, but with the addition of red wine, balsamic, honey, and a blend of herbs, no one could guess how easy it is. It’s sweet, savory, complex, and just a bit tangy. In other words, deserving of my lamb shanks.
Maybe you’re like me and have to deal with the problem of of over-committing to some lamb shanks you just bought without thinking.
Or maybe you’re planning a sophisticated dinner party. Whichever the case, this recipe is a win. It’s so easy, and it’s so delicious!
- 2 Tbsp flour
- ⅛ tsp cumin
- ⅛ tsp rosemary
- ⅛ tsp thyme
- 2 dashes of cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 C chicken broth
- ½ C red wine
- ¼ C balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2-4 small lamb shanks
- 1 sweet yellow onion cut into sixths
- In a cold slow cooker whisk together the flour, spices, red wine, balsamic vinegar, chicken broth and honey.
- Next, arrange the lamb shanks and onions at the bottom of the slow cooker. There will be enough sauce in the slow cooker to make 2-4 lamb shanks.
- Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours. The lamb is done cooking when it's falling off the bone and is fork tender. Serve hot.
Try these delicious sides with the entree…
NOTE: Nutrition Facts reflect all of the broth in the slow cooker being consumed. It’s used for cooking and flavoring the lamb, but it is unlikely that you will consume all of the cooking liquid. Much of the fat cooks off and is left behind in the slow cooker, so the fat and calories are in reality much lower than what is portrayed below. It is included here as a rough guide for those who are interested.
I’Ve had lamb shanks just once in an Indian restaurant and loved them. I have tried so hard to find some to buy but no luck… I would love to try this recipe, I am drooling only looking at the pictures.
I LOVE lamb shanks! They are hard to fine though. I bought these one on a spur of the moment just because they were available. I hope you find some soon as well!
Bev Williamson says
Try a local meat market. They can order them for you within a few days.
Nicole Branan says
This recipe sounds mouthwatering and the lamb shanks look to die for, so elegant and such a gorgeous glaze on the surface – beautiful! 🙂
J. Jones says
This recipe looks fabulous! I have nearly two whole lambs in my freezer and I’m wondering if this would also work well with the bone-in roasts or other leg cuts I have. Shanks are one of my favorite and sadly I used them up before I saw this recipe.
This should work with other bone-in cuts of lamb. Just keep in mind that if the cut of meat is much larger than your typical shanks you may want make some adjustments. For a larger cut of meat I would double the sauce ingredients and I would expect the cook time to be longer.
Also, so sorry you’re shanks are already gone! They’re so yummy that it’s hard to save them for later!
I did it with chops ans other lamb cuts and it is delicious .
So, the plight of no leftovers struck my home, too!
I had 2 large shanks, so I basically doubled the liquid and spices, adding some whole garlic cloves. I cooked on them on high for about 6 hours. Fell off the bone! After cooking, I added a touch more salt, a bit of black pepper and w smidge more honey to the braising liquid.
One day, I will reduce the braising liquid for thicker sauce. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed this recipe! I’m al about making the braising liquid into a thicker sauce. I totally trying that the next time I make this. Thanks for the idea! 🙂
Esther blitz says
Hi, I’m cooking two shanks my husband does not liike a stringy meat so. I bought him a shoulder
Chop and invited a friend who likes shank meat. M your sauce and added carrots Potatoes
One zucchini and one one. Wholes yellow small squash. . My. Husband said it smells and. Looks
Good lots of gravy may. Reduce or use to dunck bread I will let you know since I never made
And found it to expensive in restaurant.
The addition of vegetable sounds awesome! I hope your whole little dinner party enjoyed the meal!
Tasteless- do not waste time,energy,ingredients. This recipe is not worth any effort
I’m sorry this didn’t turn out for your Joi. Did you run into any difficulties when you were making the recipe that I can help you with?
This is my third time making this recipe and I am in love with it. I don’t add the wine or cumin anymore, but double the honey & cinnamon and use fresh herbs by the handful and a bay leaf. What a lovely flavor profile — deep savory from the lamb with bright, zingy sugars paired with that cinnamon. I’m with the lady who wants to reduce this sauce and I’m super tempted to sprinkle some cardamom to finish. Bubbling away in the crock pot right now. Thank you
Mmmm… I wish I had this bubbling in my CrockPot right now! I love he aromatic it is in my home. The addition of cardamom is a great idea. I’m going to have to try that next time. Thanks for sharing!
Hello Rachel, at last a recipe without the ubiquitous tomato based sauce. Not that I don’t like such sauces I wanted a recipte such as this one. As soon s I defront the lamb shanks I will try this recipe. Thank you. I notice that some posters say they find the shanks difficult to find; here in Australia they always seem to be readily available although over the years they have gone, like a lot of cheaper cuts of meat, from once being almost given away by butchers to gourmet priced. Thanks for your recipe and as we are once again in lock-down (NSW) for two weeks I will enjoy looking through your recipes.
Hi Ann!-I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe. Lamb isn’t very popular in the US, so I think that’s why it’s hard to get. I’ve always loved it, so I don’t understand why! I’m so sorry you’re still dealing with lock-downs. Where I am every things opened up, so I feel lucky in that sense. I’m a nurse though, so this past winter was terrible at the hospital. Please stay safe and I hope that Australia gets more vaccines out soon! Once enough people got them here it started to feel like the pandemic never even happened!
Made this recipe for dinner tonight. I did double / triple all of the spices as they seem super lite, also dded a couple of garlic cloves. I pan seared the lamb before putting into the slow cooker. Also I reduced the sauce after.
Hi Alma- I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe! I’ll have to try uping the spice as well!
Renee Gibbs says
Thank you for posting this! I made it last night and it was DELICIOUS. I’m allergic to tomato so it was nice to find a recipe without it instead of trying to substitute it etc.
I’ll definitely be making this again and again.
Why would you not consune all the cooking liquid/
Having put all that effort to matinade and slow cook the lamb shanks to ignore the cooking liquid would be a crime.
Serve it up as a soup/broth, add more meat to it to make another main dish is a better solution.
Waste not Want not.
Apologies for the typos, my fingers were not doing what my brain was thinking!