Slow-Cooker Lamb with Olives and Potatoes

lamb olives potatoes
Photo: Romulo Yanes
Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 30 mins

Lamb shanks are at their best when gently cooked. A slow cooker creates meltingly tender meat in a flavorful sauce -- perfect for Sunday dinner.


  • 1 ¼ pounds small potatoes, halved

  • 4 large shallots, cut into ½-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

  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth

  • 3 ½ pounds lamb shanks, cut crosswise into 1 ½-inch pieces and trimmed of excess fat

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • ½ cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

  • 1 cup pitted green olives, halved


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Cook's Notes

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.

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