Guinness-Braised Lamb Shanks + A Giveaway!

6 Feb

It doesn’t matter that Chicago is experiencing an apocalyptic “un-winter,” where daytime temperatures have been considerably higher than freezing, bordering on spring-like. It doesn’t matter that a year ago, the city (including my car) was buried under several feet of snow. And it definitely doesn’t matter that I haven’t wiped out once on a patch of devious black ice, since it hasn’t been cold enough for small puddles to freeze over. It’s only a matter of time before old-man winter hits hard again, and until I’m hitting the pavement hard again.

When you live in a place where the climate sucks for approximately 2/3 of the year, you can either sulk about it, or you can embrace it. Using a slow cooker is one of my ways of accepting the cold weather. What could be simpler or more satisfying? Brown up a tough cut of meat on the stove, saute a few aromatic veggies like carrots and onions, add some liquid and seasoning, and turn the knob to low. Go to work, where you absolutely, definitely do not worry about the electrical cord of the slow cooker malfunctioning. Causing fiery sparks to fly all over your apartment. Igniting kitchen towels, your greasy stove, and everything else within a 25 foot radius. Leading to a massive fire that takes down your entire apartment complex. Including your brand new 42-inch plasma screen. And everything else in your uninsured abode. No. You don’t worry about this. You don’t worry, because the inner dish of a slow cooker is usually made of glazed ceramic or porcelain, encased in metal. The slow cooker is self-contained, and cannot light on fire. Plus, you know better than to plug in a cord if the plastic casing has been compromised, or if the inner wires are popping out all willy nilly.


So, go to work. Come home 8-10 hours later, open the door and become instantly enveloped in the warm, inviting, delicious aromas of dinner. Prepare a simple side dish, if necessary. Or just sit down to a hearty meal. Who cares about the frigid outside world when you come home to a welcome like that?

Stout-Braisted Lamb Shanks

Guinness-Braised Lamb Shanks with Chive Mash

I made Guinness-Braised Lamb Shanks for my friend, Meghan. She was coming over on a weeknight, so being able to use the slow cooker made dinner a breeze, even though I got home from work late. The recipe is from The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes, Second Edition by Judith Finlayson. It’s a fabulous book that goes beyond the typical chilis and stews that are commonplace in slow cooking. It includes recipes like  Portuguese Sausage and Shellfish Stew and Osso Bucco, and many recipes include mouth-watering photos of the finished dishes. The book fittingly ends with 22 desserts that you can make in your Crock Pot. I’m curious – have you even used your slow cooker to make dessert?

Although I haven’t made all 150 of the recipes, this lamb dish most definitely makes my personal list of best slow cooker recipes. The meat fell right off the bone, tender and flavorful, and the braising liquid was delicious spooned over chive laced mashed potatoes.

I’m giving winter the middle finger and giving this book away to one of you!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post about your favorite slow cooker recipe. You can earn an additional entry by following me on Twitter (@bethylou10) and sending me a tweet about slow cooking. You’ll also earn an entry if you subscribe to this blog – just leave another comment to let me know you’ve signed up. Finally, refer a friend who subscribes (again, give me details in a comment so it’s accounted for), and you’ll both have another chance to win! This giveaway is open until 11:47 pm on Monday, February 13. Why 11:47? Well, why not?!? A winner will be generated by, and I’ll send you this fabulous cookbook! Yay!


This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Sylvia, the proud new recipient of The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes, Second Edition by Judith Finlayson! Email me your address and I’ll send the book out to you ASAP!


21 Responses to “Guinness-Braised Lamb Shanks + A Giveaway!”

  1. nathaniel February 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    I WANT THAT BOOK! please. you may consider it a peace offering after that embarrassing vote rigging incident.

  2. Kathy E February 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    I love (did I say LOVE) bread pudding (with rum soaked raisins) in a slow cooker!! The best!

    • Becky February 6, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

      I like making chicken soup in the crock pot. I know my husband loves lamb and Guinness, me not so much, but I would make the Guinness Braised lamb shanks for him as a a surprise:)

      I live in the western burbs of Chicago. We could be neighbors:)

  3. Sylvia February 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Tonight we dine on Thai Chicken tacos! Lovely low maintenance meal thanks to my slow cooker!

    • Beth Somers February 14, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

      Congratulations Miss Sylvia! You won the book! Send me your address and I’ll mail it out to you. Have a huge, icy cold margarita for me in Mexico. Wish I could be with you guys!

  4. Marisa Franz February 6, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Pulled pork is my slow cooker go-to recipe. Great on a bun, or as tacos with gorgonzola, red cabbage and cilantro. Also, great to take to work the rest of the week.

  5. Joanne February 7, 2012 at 6:29 am #

    Who WOULDN’T want to warm up to a bowl of this deliciousness! Even if there’s not really much warming up to be done. Semantics.

  6. Eftychia February 7, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    I love roast beef. The kind one that melts in your mouth… I am sure you understand what I mean :-)!

  7. Eftychia February 7, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    I am offering a Mediterranean Cookbook too with delicious homemade recipes. I am sure you will love it…

  8. Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) February 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    That meal looks excellent! Sadly, I don’t have a croc pot, but I’m dying to get one!
    My favorite slow cooker meal is this chicken dish my mom would make with red wine. It was delicious!

  9. mauracconnor February 7, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    Slow cooker Chile Chicken Tacos for a certain 9-year old’s birthday party…..need I say more?

  10. Toni February 8, 2012 at 2:34 am #

    Chicken and dumplings. Oh, just thinking about it makes me want to drag out the slow cooker…

  11. Julie @ Table for Two February 8, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    I love cooking bbq pulled pork in my slow cooker 🙂

  12. Julie @ Table for Two February 8, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    I already follow you on twitter.

  13. Ashley February 9, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    I would have to say I will always be a slow cookery beef stew girl. Easy and delicious everytime and inexpensive!!!

  14. Ashley February 9, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    I also started following the blog!!! Awesome!!!

  15. Amy February 9, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    I just made a great Moroccan Brisket in the slow cooker, yum!

  16. Jory February 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I would love to win! My favorite slow cooker meal is 1 box of French onion soup mix and 1 rump roast cooked on slow for 8 hours or until tender. Serve with your favorite bread or rolls. Yum!

  17. Rebecca February 14, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    The slow cooker recipe I have used again and again for dinner parties and easy sunday dinner is Pork Loin In Milk from Michele Scicolone The Italian Slow Cooker. I love it!

  18. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic February 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    I love lamb shanks, and this looks delicious. I actually don’t have a slow cooker but I’m thinking I should go and get one soon!


  1. One-Word Wednesdays: Sammich « wallopingteaspoon - February 8, 2012

    […] of The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes, Second Edition by Judith Finlayson? Because you should! Click here for the rules and to give yourself a fair shot. It could be your lucky day! Share […]

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