We have given this melt-in-the-mouth braised lamb shanks recipe a Persian twist. Using Ras el Hanout to capture that amazing middle eastern flavour. Slow-cooking it in the oven for fall-off-the-bone lamb meat!
You'll never want to cook lamb another way again!
Perfect for special occasions, anniversary dinners or when you want something a little bit luxurious. Serve with mashed potatoes or saffron couscous.
Braised Lamb Shanks
This video will show you how to cook Lamb Shanks to perfection.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about this delicious Braised Lamb Shanks recipe.Or jump straight to the Recipe Card to get cooking.
This dish is so much more than choosing the perfect lamb shanks. The ingredients have been carefully selected to create an absolutely delicious dish filled with flavour.
Let's take a look at them!
Olive oil prevents the dish from sticking to the pot. We like the rich flavour it adds and the way it enhances the other flavours too. If you don't have olive oil, you could choose other cooking oils, like vegetable or sunflower oil.
Supermarkets are great places to get good meat, or you could head to your local butchers.
Look carefully at the meat and bone to make sure you're not getting a cut that is all bone.
We cooked two lamb shanks. But if you are serving more people and you dish or dutch oven is big enough, you can add more (same cooking time)
Alternatively, you could use another cut of lamb, though it may not be as tender.
We carefully selected vegetables that would complement the flavours of Persian Lamb Shanks. Onions and carrots finely diced to add a sweet and aromatic flavour. You could use red onion if you prefer a sharper taste or shallots for a milder flavour.
We also used butternut squash as we like their earthy sweetness and root vegetables help to thicken sauce. This is a very versatile dish, so you can use any vegetable your family prefers.
We used a sundried tomato paste for ease and for its intense tomato flavour. You could use regular tomato paste with a milder flavour or even fresh tomatoes.
We add garlic paste for ease and to give the dish an aromatic and powerful flavour. Fresh garlic can be used instead or you could use a store-bought jar of finely chopped garlic. Remember that you may need to adjust the amount used.
Ras el Hanout
Ras el Hanout is a complex and aromatic spice blend containing paprika, cumin, chilli, cinnamon, and rose petals. Some blends may also contain additional herbs and spices.
You can experiment with different herbs and spices to find the flavours that suit you or keep it simple, seasoned with salt and black pepper.
Cranberry juice is often used in Persian dishes and gives a sweet tartness to the braising liquid that the Lamb Shanks will be cooked in.
Fresh herbs are a great way to enhance the flavours of this braised lamb dish, we used fresh thyme but fresh rosemary would work well too!
Stock cubes are a great way to create a rich braising liquid to cook lamb shanks. They're made to compliment the meat you use, so lamb stock cubes are best. Don't make a lamb broth; use the cube with the cranberry juice.
If you only have chicken broth cubes or beef broth / beef stock cubes available, they can still make a wonderful sauce with the cranberry sauce.
You will need a large cast iron pot or dutch oven to make these slow cooked lamb shanks. Then the whole lamb shank recipe can be cooked in the same pot from pan to oven.
Alternatively, you could use a casserole dish or oven-safe pot, but you will then also need a frying pan when searing the lamb meat.
A long-handled spoon would also be helpful to spoon sauce, as well as heat-resistant gloves for handling the hot pot.
Braised Lamb Shanks are a one-pot, restaurant-quality dish that is easy to make and always impresses, perfect for special occasions or when you need a little luxury.
Slow cooking lamb shanks at a low to medium heat prevents tough meat leaving them fork tender.
Searing the Lamb
To start season lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Heat oil and add shanks, searing until all the shanks are slightly browned. This is an important step as it really builds the amazing flavor and texture of lamb meat.
Once browned, remove shanks from the pan.
Creating the Persian Spiced Sauce
To create a lovely rich sauce for your slow-cooked lamb shanks chop an onion and dice your carrots. Add these to the oil in the pan and fry them until they have softened.
Add your sundried tomato puree, garlic puree and ras el hanout to the pan with the softened carrot and onion and mix it all together.
Stir in the cranberry juice and add the stock cube and bring it all to a boil over medium-high heat, creating an absolutely amazing sauce.
Slow-cooking the Braised Lamb Shanks
Reduce heat and return lamb shanks to the pan and baste them in that delicious sauce, carefully spooning it over the lamb meat so it really soaks up all those wonderful flavours.
Add sprigs of fresh thyme or fresh rosemary and season generously with salt and pepper before placing on the lid and allowing it to braise in the oven.
Braise lamb shanks in a preheated oven set to 150°C fan / 170°C conventional oven / 325°F or Gas Mark 3.
After 1 hour and 45 minutes, you can turn the lamb shanks and baste them again before adding your butternut squash.
Continue cooking with the lid on until the butternut squash is soft and the lamb falls off the bone - about 45 minutes.
Prepare a serving plate with your chosen side dish. We recommend mashed potatoes or couscous.
Remove lamb shanks place on top, then add some vegetables and pour over the rich cranberry and tomato sauce.
And for extra veggies, our air fryer parsnips will really add to those root vegetables you used in the sauce see below recipe card for more side dish ideas.
See how easily the meat fell off the tender lamb shanks!
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Oven Braised Lamb Shanks - Persian Spiced
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 Lamb Shanks
- 1 Onion Finely diced
- 1 Carrot Finely diced
- 1 tablespoon Sundried Tomato Puree or 2 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Puree or 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon Ras el Hanout Persian spice
- 500 ml Cranberry Juice
- 1 Lamb stock cube
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme or Rosemary
- 450 grams Butternut Squash Cut into cubes
- Salt and Pepper season to your liking
- Preheat Oven to 150°C fan / 170°C conventional oven / 325°F or Gas Mark 3Season 2 Lamb Shanks with Salt and Pepper. Pour 2 tablespoon Olive Oil in a lidded cast iron or casserole dish. Heat over medium heat to sear and brown the outside of the lamb.Remove from the pan and set aside whilst you create the sauce.
- Dice 1 Onion and 1 Carrot Add to the remaining oil and lamb juices. Fry over medium heat until softened (5-8 minutes)
- Add 1 tablespoon Garlic Puree, 1 tablespoon Sundried Tomato Puree and 1 tablespoon Ras el Hanout in with the softened onion and carrot and stir together.
- Add 500 ml Cranberry Juice and 1 Lamb stock cube and bring to a boil.
- Take off the heat, return the lamb shanks back to the pan, baste the lamb shanks with the sauce, add 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme to the sauce and season with Salt and Pepper
- Place the lid on the oven dish.(If you have not got a hob to oven pan/dish, place lamb and sauce in an ovenproof dish and cover with foil).(If you have not got a hob to oven pan/dish, place lamb and sauce in an ovenproof dish and cover with foil)
- Cook for 1hr and 45 minutes at 150°C fan / 170°C conventional oven / 325°F or Gas Mark 3.
- Remove from the oven, turn lamb shanks over & re-baste the braised shanks with sauce.
- Add 450 grams Butternut Squash cubed around the lamb in the sauce, replace the lid and cook for a further 45 minutes.
- Cook until the lamb easily falls off the bone with a fork and the butternut squash has softened. You can cook for longer if needed.
- Serve with your chosen side with some butternut squash and drizzle the rich sauce on top.
Originally published on 27/01/2020. Updated on 10/07/2023 to include new pictures, a clearer structure for the blog post, an updated recipe card with measurements in each step and a FAQ section.
Lamb Shank Side Dishes
We have some great recipes that will compliment the Persian lamb shanks dish wonderfully.
We doubt there will be any leftovers with this delicious dish. However, if there are, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
You can also freeze leftover lamb, and sauce for up to 3 months.
When reheating this lamb shanks recipe, we suggest doing it in a oven-proof pot or cast iron pot. Gently reheating until it is completely hot throughout. Slowly reheating will help keep that amazing flavour.
More Lamb Recipes
If you are looking for more lamb recipe ideas? We have plenty of great recipe options to choose from!
We love this fall off the bone lamb shank recipe, I'm sure you will too, please leave us a comment to let us know how it went.