Lamb shanks with ancho chilli honey glaze

    2 hours 45 min

    A lamb lovers dream! This is one of my favourite lamb shank recipes. I've had so many requests after serving this at dinner parties that I decided to add it here. Get the lamb shanks in the oven. Make the glaze and topping, then take an hour-long nap, have a bath and voila! Dinner's ready!

    30 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 lamb shanks
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 dried ancho chillies - chopped, stemmed and seeded
    • 500ml chicken stock
    • 1L passata
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 bay leaf
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 6 dried ancho chillies, stemmed and seeded
    • 1L boiling water
    • 100g honey
    • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
    • 200g natural yoghurt
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
    • salt to taste

    Prep:45min  ›  Cook:2hr  ›  Ready in:2hr45min 

    1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Heat oil in large casserole. Sear shanks on all sides and set aside. In the same pot, saute onion and garlic 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 ancho chillies, tomatoes and chicken stock. Season with cumin, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Boil briefly, then return shanks to pan.
    2. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Meat should be just ready to fall off the bone.
    3. To make the glaze: Cover 6 ancho chillies with boiling water, and soak for 10 minutes. In a food processor, combine chilies, 250ml water, honey and orange zest. Process until smooth; set aside.
    4. To make the topping: In a small bowl, mix together yoghurt, coriander and salt. Cover, and refrigerate.
    5. When the shanks are done, remove them from the casserole, and place them into an oiled roasting tin. Increase oven temperature to 200 C / Gas 6. Spread glaze over shanks and return to oven until light crust forms, 6 to 10 minutes. Serve on large plates surrounded by tomato base and topped with the refreshing yoghurt mixture.

    Ancho chillies

    A popular Mexican chilli, you can find dried ancho chillies online or in specialty spice shops.

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    Reviews in English (23)


    Absolutely stunning. I served it with mashed potatoes and green beans. I made extra but found that it is better eaten on the day it is made as it doesn't taste as good when re-heated.  -  17 Jan 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This was absolutely outstanding! I made the dish for a dinner party last night and the guests enjoyed it so much that one of them - a professional chef - actually licked his plate! I followed the recipe exactly, except for adding trhe jiuce of an orange as well as zest to the glaze, becuase I wanted something a little sharper. I hadn't intended to make the yoghurt dressing, but I'm glad I did - it added a lovely cool contrast to the smoky juiciness of the lamb. This is an amaziong recipe - thank you so much for sharing it. if I could give it six stars, I would!  -  09 Sep 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Thanks for the great recipe! Very unique flavors that I will definitely be experimenting with. My girlfriend loved it and she has HATED lamb every other time she's had it. Now, here are the changes and additions I made to the recipe, I added about a 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper after I browned the shanks and about 1 tbsp. of sugar to the tomatoe puree to counter some of the acidity. I eliminated 1 cup of the tomatoe puree and 1 cup of chicken stock and substituted 2 cups of red wine instead After the braising, instead of turning up the oven to 400-degrees, I placed the rack high on my oven and turned it on broil. I brushed on the glaze and broiled with a very watchful eye to prevent burning. I made a cilantro oil (bunch of cilantro, olive oil, salt & pepper blended in a food processor) which complimented the glaze awesomely!! I brushed on some cilantro oil during the broiling process too and it made the world of difference (Flavor town baby!). I served it on a bed of Creamy Cotija cheese and Chive Polenta, drizzled with some fresh cilantro oil. Didn't plate the braising liquid becuase I found it unnecessary.  -  23 Dec 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)