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Slow-cooked lamb shanks | Gestational Diabetes Recipes

Creating a GDM-friendly Kitchen

Food for thought

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Slow-cooked lamb shank

Slow-cooked lamb shanks

Servings: 4 people
Carbohydrate Serves: 2 per person
(1 carbohydrate serve = 15 grams of total carbohydrate)

Although I’ve heard great things about pressure cookers, I’m yet to try one out. Here is a slow-cook stove top alternative. And if you have the time and a solid heavy-based casserole dish, cook this in the oven with the lid on for 90 minutes at 180°c/ 350ºF instead. Remember that lamb isn’t the most gestational diabetes friendly meat because of its fat content so this is a ‘once in a while’ dish and be sure to trim off any excess fat during preparation. (Main carbohydrate containing ingredients are listed in bold.)


  • 8 lamb shanks, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup plain flour for coating meat
  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 2 brown onions, sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium – large fennel bulb, trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 x 400g/ 14 ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups salt reduced beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves (save some leaves to garnish)
  • Mashed potato and green beans to serve

For mashed potato*:

  • 800g/ 1¾ pounds washed potatoes, peeled, cut into even chunks
  • 100ml/ 3.4 fl oz milk
  • 100ml/ 3.5 ounces low-fat yoghurt or buttermilk

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-based casserole dish on medium-high heat. Add onion garlic and fennel. Stirring occasionally, cook for about 5-10 minutes until onion is soft. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

To evenly coat shanks with flour, place flour and one shank at a time in a clean plastic bag. Grip opening firmly shut and shake well. Knock off excess flour while shank is still in bag, remove and set aside on a plate. Repeat.

Heat remaining oil on high in casserole dish. Cook shanks in batches for 4-5 minutes, turning once until browned. Add onion, garlic and fennel mixture, tomato paste, tomato, rosemary and stock. Cover, bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour.

Remove shanks and keep simmering sauce for another 10 minutes or until it thickens. Mix in parsley then return the shanks to the pot.

For mashed potato. Boil or steam potato until fully cooked. Drain water and return to the pan. Add milk and yoghurt (or buttermilk) gradually. Either use a potato masher or handheld whisker to combine until fluffy.

Serve shanks with mashed potato, green beans and garnish with fresh parsley. (Only the equivalent of 150-200g of mashed potato per person to remain within the carb allowance.)

Post-GDM suggestion: Exchange 1 cup of stock with a cup of red wine.

* Please note: If you know mashed potato gives you high blood glucose levels, replace with carbohydrate allowance in boiled potatoes or cold potato salad or even pasta.

  • Michelle says:

    I wish that we had websites like this 20 yrs ago when I had Gestational Diabetes during both pregnancies it would have made my life sooooo much easier. Great work. Keep the recipes coming. I am now a type 2 diabetic.

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