Lamb shanks are at their best when gently cooked. A slow cooker creates meltingly tender meat in a flavorful sauce — perfect for Sunday dinner. Asking your butcher to slice your shanks ensures an easy fit in a slow cooker. Or, look for smaller foreshanks, which come from the front of the lamb.
- 1 1/4 pounds small potatoes, halved
- 4 large shallots, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 1/2 pounds lamb shanks, cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces and trimmed of excess fat
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
- 1 cup pitted green olives, halved
Combine potatoes, shallots, garlic, lemon zest, and rosemary in a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker; season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon flour and broth. Add to slow cooker.
Place 3 tablespoons flour on a plate. Season lamb with salt and pepper, then coat in flour, shaking off excess. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. In batches, cook lamb until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Add wine to skillet and cook, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add to slow cooker, then cover and cook on high until lamb is tender, about 3 1/2 hours (7 hours on low). Stir in olives, cover, and cook 20 minutes.
To serve, transfer lamb and vegetables to a platter. Skim fat from cooking liquid, then stir in lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sauce with lamb and vegetables.