Lamb Shanks Kleftiko is often prepared for special occasions and celebrations, making it a dish for festive and communal gatherings.
Its historical connection to the bandits and the “stolen” method of cooking adds an interesting layer to its narrative.
What is more with lamb shanks Kleftiko is that it is a good source of protein, the herbs and spices like Oregano, and thyme, contribute antioxidant properties that may help neutralize harmful properties in the body.
While the basic ingredients remain consistent, there are regional variations in the preparations of lamb shanks, with some areas adding their unique taste. And in this blog post is one recipe you can bank on.
Lamb Shanks Kleftiko Slow Cooker Recipe
- Slow Cooker
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Tongs or Forks
- Paper towels
- Platter or Serving Dish
- Slow Cooker Liner (Optional)
- 4 lamb shanks
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 4 tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- Pat the lamb shanks dry with paper towels.
- Season the lamb shanks with salt and black pepper.
- Place the lamb shanks in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Sprinkle minced garlic over the lamb shanks.
- Layer sliced onions on top.
- Add diced tomatoes around the lamb.
- Drizzle olive oil over the lamb and vegetables.
- Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the mixture.
- Sprinkle dried oregano and thyme evenly.
- Add bay leaves.
- If using white wine, pour it over the lamb and vegetables.
- Place peeled and chunked potatoes around the lamb.
- Pour chicken or vegetable broth over the entire mixture.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or until the lamb is tender and falls off the bone.
- Test the lamb shanks for doneness by ensuring they are tender and easily pull away from the bone.
- Carefully remove the lamb shanks and serve on a platter.
- Spoon the vegetables and cooking juices over the lamb.
- Discard bay leaves before serving.
Tips on Preparing Lamb Shanks Kleftiko With Slow Cooker
Others are getting it right with their Lamb Shanks Kleftiko and you can too by following what others are doing.
1. Choose Quality Lamb
Select fresh and high-quality lamb shanks. Look for meat that is well-marbled and has a pinkish-red colour. Quality lamb will enhance the overall flavour and tenderness of the dish.
2. Pat Dry the Lamb Shanks
Before seasoning, pat the lamb shanks dry with paper towels. Removing excess moisture helps achieve better browning and caramelization during the cooking process.
3. Season Generously
Season the lamb shanks generously with salt and black pepper. The slow-cooking process allows the flavours to penetrate the meat, so a well-seasoned start is crucial for depth of flavour.
4. Layer Ingredients Thoughtfully
Layer the ingredients in the slow cooker thoughtfully. Place the lamb shanks at the bottom, followed by aromatic vegetables, herbs, and spices. This ensures an even distribution of flavours.
5. Consider White Wine
Adding white wine to the recipe can enhance the overall taste. The acidity in the wine can help tenderize the meat and add a subtle depth of flavour. However, it’s optional, and the dish can still be delicious without it.
6. Slow and Low Cooking
The magic of Lamb Shanks Kleftiko lies in slow and low cooking. Use the low-heat setting on your slow cooker to allow the flavours to meld, and the lamb to become tender and succulent. Aim for 7-8 hours of cooking time.
7. Add Potatoes and Vegetables
Including potatoes and vegetables in the slow cooker not only complements the dish but also makes it a complete meal. Ensure the vegetables are cut into large chunks to withstand the long cooking time.
8. Serve with Greek-inspired sides
When serving, consider accompanying the Lamb Shanks Kleftiko with traditional Greek sides like tzatziki, Greek salad, or crusty bread. These sides complement the flavours and enhance the overall dining experience.
What To Have With Lamb Shanks Kleftiko
Lamb Shanks Kleftiko a hearty dish when paired well with a variety of other dishes can enhance the overall dining experience.
1. Roasted or Mashed Potatoes
Potatoes are a classic choice to serve with Lamb Shanks Kleftiko. Roasted potatoes with herbs or creamy mashed potatoes absorb the delicious cooking juices and complement the savoury lamb.
2. Greek Salad
A refreshing Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil adds a burst of freshness and contrasts the richness of the lamb.
3. Tzatziki Sauce
Tzatziki, a yogurt-based sauce with cucumber, garlic, and mint, provides a cool and tangy element that pairs well with lamb.
4. Couscous or Quinoa
Light and fluffy couscous or quinoa make excellent side options. They absorb the flavours of the lamb and add a nutritious element to the meal.
5. Crusty Bread
Serve with a side of crusty bread to mop up the flavorful juices. This is a simple yet satisfying way to enjoy every bit of the dish.
6. Steamed or Roasted Vegetables
Steamed or roasted vegetables, such as carrots, green beans, or asparagus, provide a colourful and nutritious addition to the plate.
7. Lemon Wedges
Provide lemon wedges on the side for a fresh citrusy squeeze. The acidity cuts through the richness of the lamb, balancing the flavours.
8. Rice Pilaf
Fragrant rice pilaf with herbs and spices can be a great alternative to potatoes, offering a different texture and flavour profile.
10. Red Wine
A glass of red wine, such as a Greek red wine like Agiorgitiko, can be a delightful accompaniment to complement the lamb.
11. Dolma (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
Dolma, stuffed grape leaves with rice and herbs, can be a unique and tasty addition to the meal.
12. Fava Bean Puree
A traditional Greek fava bean puree, known as “Fava,” can add a creamy and flavorful element to the plate.