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Friday, April 12, 2013

Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks with Figs and Shallots

Lamb shanks served with sweet potato pancakes, mostly because they were leftover from the night before

It's still slow cooker weather here in Colorado. We got a foot of snow on Tuesday and next Tuesday is shaping up to be more of the same. Time to break out the lamb shanks! Regular readers will remember my post on Scotch Broth and my cache of lamb in the freezer. This is a richly flavored dish that is so, so easy, thanks to the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks with Figs and Shallots
(serves 4)

You can use a 3 to 5 quart slow cooker.

2 pounds lamb shanks, preferably 4 small ones so everyone gets a bone
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
4 large shallots, peeled and sliced
12 dried figs, tough stems trimmed and cut into quarters
½ cup chicken or lamb stock
¼ cup red wine vinegar

Make a long cut on each side of the shank, in line with the bone for a total of 4 cuts per shank. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add oil. Brown lamb shanks on all sides. Place shanks in the slow cooker. Reduce heat to medium and add shallots. Saute for about 1 minute. Add the shallots, figs, stock, and vinegar to the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours. Reduce the temperature to low and continue cooking for another 2-3 hours until lamb is extremely tender and falling off the bone. Taste sauce for salt and add more if needed.

Serve shanks with figs and sauce. Delicious on pasta or polenta. Good on sweet potato pancakes too. :-)

Adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two by Beth Hensperger.