Slow cooker honey lamb shanks


A braised shank of lamb in white plate with gravy and potatoes

Lamb shanks, cooked slowly and well spiced, are one of the cooler months’ finest comfort foods.

Use your slow cooker all day for meltingly tender results, or cook in a conventional oven on a low heat for four hours. There are no special ingredients required, but you will get a very special result!


  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 6 shallots or 2 onions, peeled and sliced into rings
  • 5 cloves of peeled sliced garlic
  • 1 orange, juiced (grate the rind and set it aside)
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp of honey (or brown sugar/golden syrup)
  • 2 tsp of cayenne pepper (can substitute chili powder)
  • 1 cup of chicken stock ·
  • rosemary, a few fresh sprigs (or use 2-3tsp dried if you need to)
  • salt and pepper
  • 100g butter


Preheat your slow cooker on low. Melt the butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the lamb shanks and brown them on both sides, taking care not to burn the butter. Once browned, add the shanks to the slow cooker and add the fresh rosemary on top of them. (If you are using dried rosemary, wait and add it with the other spices in a few minutes).

Leave the juices in the pan and use them to sauté the orange rind, garlic and onions until the onions are starting to get a bit crunchy. When this happens, add the red wine, Worcestershire sauce, honey, cayenne pepper, chicken stock, salt and pepper to your liking, and the dried rosemary if you chose not to use the fresh earlier.

Mix all the ingredients and simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the lamb shanks in the slow cooker and cook covered on low for 6 – 7 hours. Remove the cover from the slow cooker and increase the heat level to high.

Continue to cook the lamb shanks and honey for another 1 ½ hours so that the orange and honey sauce can thicken. Stir occasionally.

Serve over rice or mash with green vegetables, with the sauce spooned over the shanks.

Tip: use 50/50 butter and oil to brown the shanks. You will retain the delicious flavour from the butter, but the oil will make it less likely for the butter to burn.