Lamb Shanks with Chorizo and Garlic – slow cooker

I love the taste of lamb and until now I have only ever eaten lamb shanks in a restaurant or pre-cooked from the supermarket until I received my Lakeland slow cooker along with their fabulous book of 50 recipes.

Wow! I thought to myself, you can cook lamb shanks in a slow cooker!

The Lakeland book does Mexican Slow Roasted Lamb Shanks which sound delicious but then in March Good Housekeeping did a piece on Lorraine Pascal and she presented a recipe of Braised Lamb Shanks with Chorizo and Garlic so I thought – How about combining them and see what I come up with?

Lamb shanks are quite expensive (I paid £4.50 odd per shank) and of course being on the bone you have to be sure you’re going to get enough meat, so I have allowed one shank each and I’ve topped up my dish with lamb chops that were on special offer ;) The leftovers will make another meal for us, here’s what I did

supermarket lamb cuts

Lamb Shanks with Chorizo and Garlic slow cooked

Rosemary bushIngredients

2 lamb shanks
8 lamb chops
1 tbsp olive oil
350ml red wine (I had Rioja)
150ml balsamic vinegar
4 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsps paprika
few black peppercorns
300ml beef stock
2 rosemary sprigs
125g chorizo
1 large red onion cut into 8 wedges
2 carrots
1 tbsp honey (optional)


  • Season the lamb shanks well and brown off in a frying pan, place in the slow cooker turned on low setting.
  • Add the wine and vinegar to the slow cooker
  • Add the garlic, bay leaves, paprika, peppercorns, stock and two sprigs of rosemary
  • Add onion and chorizo after removing the hard skin
  • Add 1 aubergine cut into small bite size pieces because it was in the fridge!
  • Cook for 7 hours on low stirring occasionally

lamb shanks with chorizo and garlic

Observations and tips

On the whole this trial recipe worked. My fear of not having enough meat was wrong, one lamb shank per person is sufficient so we have a meal for another night too with all the extra chops I put in!

By adding the extra chops I also added a lot of extra fat and so I skimmed off a good 1cm of fat from the top of the casserole before serving.

We found the balsamic vinegar quite strong and thought it took over the dish. I added half of Lorraine’s suggestion of 250ml and we think it was still too much so I’d put less in next time (50ml) and add the extra in beef stock but this could be personal taste.

The chorizo also added fat to the dish, I’m not sure I would add it again to a slow cooked meal, the finished slices of chorizo had tiny holes where the fat had melted into the sauce. Delicious still but not pretty to look at.


  1. reluctanthousedad
    March 9, 2012 / 1:47 PM

    I love your critique of the finished dish. It’s what makes your blog so authentic. Cooking is about trial and error and experimentation at the end of the day. I love the idea of the lamb chorizo combo. I can imagine it would give great flavour – but the amount of fat would make me hesitate. Whenever I cook lamb shanks in slow cooker, I take them out, drain the liquid into a jug and put it into the freeze, which makes it very easy to get rid of the fat. Then return the liquid to a pan and reduce to make a gravy. Meanwhile, bung the lamb shanks in a hot oven to get a bit of a Maillard reaction going on the outside. I wonder if instead of the chorizo a couple of tsps of smoky paprika would do the flavour job?

    • Mari
      March 9, 2012 / 2:06 PM

      Fantastic comment thanks Keith! Love the idea of freezing the liquid and shoving the shanks in the oven. I think I’ll add chorizo to the finished dish rather than slow cook it together and paprika is a brilliant idea too. I often go back to a recipe and change what I didn’t like, writing it here will (hopefully) remind me ;)
      PS I nommed you in the BiBs dads category – good luck

  2. March 9, 2012 / 4:52 PM

    This looks really yummy! No more linky then?

    • Mari
      March 9, 2012 / 5:51 PM

      It doesn’t seem to be popular so I’m letting it be and just doing my own thing :)
      PLUS I don’t have the time or energy to promote it as I probably should, there’s that too x

  3. MsXpat
    March 10, 2012 / 8:10 AM

    OMG!!!! This sounds soo amazing. Must tell hubby about your recipe he looks slow cooking lamb. We usually have the shanks it just melts in your mouth :0)

  4. STC Technologies
    March 14, 2012 / 5:49 AM

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  5. Mediocremum
    April 15, 2012 / 1:22 PM

     OMG!  Those look amazing.  Thanks for joining into Slow Cooker Sunday.

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