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Spicy Lamb Shanks

1 575 gram pac lamb shanks
1 tb Coriander seeds
1 tb Cumin seeds
1 tb Fennel seeds
3 Whole star anise
1 Cinnamon stick; broken in half
3 Carrots; peeled and cut into 1 cm ( 1/2 inch) dice
2 Parsnips; peeled and cut into 1 cm ( 1/2 inch) dice
3 sm Red onions; peeled and quartered
1 Red chilli; finely sliced
1 Lemon; cut into 5mm ( 1/4 inch) dice
2 400 g tins chopped tomatoes
300 ml Water; ( 1/2 pint)
1 ts Dried mint
50 g Unpitted green olives; (2oz)
2 tb Tamarind paste; (optional)
2 tb Fish sauce; (optional)
1 tb Soy sauce

Preheat the oven to 170 C, 325 F, Gas mark 3.

In a deep sided flameproof large casserole dish seal the lamb shanks until browned on all sides.

In the meantime place the coriander, cumin, fennel, star anise and cinnamon on a baking tray and roast for 2 minutes, or until deep brown but not burnt. Remove and grind to a fine powder.

Add the vegetables to the casserole dish, along with the chilli and lemon, saute for approximately 5 minutes.

Then add the tomatoes, roasted spices, water, dried mint, olives, tamarind paste, fish and soy sauce. Bring to the boil then cover and transfer to the oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Serve immediately with either cous-cous or chunks of crusty bread.

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