Slow Cooked Fiery Lamb Shanks


Serves 4

With lamb shanks the longer you leave them, the better they taste. Three hours may seem a long time, but trust me, once you see the way the meat falls off the bone, you’ll understand. Marinate the lamb in the spice mix overnight if you can as it will really improve the flavour. Serve with couscous or mashed potato.


  • 4 lamb shanks
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 × 750ml white wine
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • Small handful of mint leaves, to garnish

For the marinade

  • 1–2 green chillies, deseeded and sliced, to taste
  • 1–2 red chillies, deseeded and sliced, to taste
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped and crushed
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. First prepare the marinade. Mix together the chilies (use only one of each if you don’t like hot dishes), smoked paprika, oregano, cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and seasoning. Rub the mixture into the lamb so that it is well flavoured. You can cook the lamb straight away, but if you have time, cover and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour, or even overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas 3.

3. Heat a large casserole dish on the hob and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Brown the lamb in it for about 6 minutes until coloured on all sides, then add the chilies and cinnamon from the marinade.

4. Add the carrots, onion and bay leaves to the casserole and brown for a minute or two. Lift the lamb so that it is resting on top of the onions and carrots. Add the wine to de-glaze the pan, scraping up the bits from the bottom, then bring to the boil. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil, then transfer covered to the preheated oven. Cook for 3 hours until the meat is really tender and the sauce reduced (if the tops of the shanks look like they may be drying out, just  baste and occasionally turn them).

5. Remove the cooked meat from the oven and serve garnished with the torn mint leaves and the cooking juices spooned on top.

This recipe is served on our Slow Cooking course. Why not come along to our next class to learn how to make this recipe and more?

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