Lamb is one of our most satisfying meats, not only does it taste fantastic, it’s also so wonderfully versatile.

In spring, a roasted leg of lamb is a delicious, if pricey treat, then the luscious, fatty and flavoursome shoulder never fails to deliver when it’s slow cooked. Hogget – meat of a lamb that’s more than a year old – is also brimming with flavour.

Lamb chops or cutlets are lovely grilled for a quick supper, or seared on the barbecue in summer, and lamb shank is perfect when cooked for several hours until the meat is practically as soft as butter.

We are lucky in the UK, as we have mountain lamb and saltmarsh lamb in abundance, and plenty of farmers’ markets where the produce can be purchased direct from the people who raised it.

At this time of year, lamb shank is one of my favourites, as the dense meat is so comforting. A recipe such as the one below will benefit from sitting overnight to allow the flavours to develop. However, if you don’t have time to do that, don’t worry. Just make sure that you set the oven low enough, so that the shanks can cook happily for three or more hours, leaving you free to do other things.

A good splash of wine or a glug of port always adds depth to slow cooked dishes, and the sauce created is rich and succulent when combined with the meat juices.

Plenty of buttery mash goes well with a stew, as does roast carrot or parsnip. Finish things off with an apple crumble and custard or cream for a scrumptious winter filler.

READ MORE: Beetroot And Orange Polenta Cake

Slow cooked lamb shank


4 lamb shanks

375mls red wine

2 litres lamb (or chicken) stock

1 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, diced

1 stick of celery, diced

Half leek, diced

4 cloves of garlic

1 bunch of rosemary


Fry the lamb shanks until golden brown, remove from the pan and brown the vegetables, then return the shanks to the pan and deglaze with the red wine, reduce by half and cover with the lamb stock, add the rosemary and bring the pan to the boil, then cook in a low oven approximately gas mark 3 or 140c for about three to three-and-a-half hours until the meat is tender.

Remove the shanks from the pan and keep warm. Strain the stock and reduce by half to create the sauce. Serve with roast or steamed veg, mashed potatoes and redcurrant jelly.