jamie’s spiced lamb shanks

Cork Daddy’s Pa would no sooner eat a lamb shank than fly to the moon. The ‘shank’ was always thrown to the dogs, and as a sheep farmer lamb was on the dinner table more often than not.

So it’s ironic that I spent $12.50 on a bag of dog bones at Knights today for Blue.

Would you believe it that this is actually the first time I’ve ever cooked lamb shanks? And what better recipe to start with than that of Jamie’s spiced lamb shanks. (You da man Jamie). Passed onto me by my good friend Gen, they certainly haven’t let us down. So easy to throw together; so tender and delicious, they make for a great dinner party dish or for a bit of a ‘spesh’ midweek meal. Make sure you’ve got some fresh bread close by too to help mop up the sauce.

Now lamb shanks have become quite trendy. Everyone seems to be throwing some shanks in to a slow cooker these days. I had dinner at a friends place recently whereby Shorty cooked lamb shanks in the oven and in a slow cooker. The oven cooked shanks held themselves together on the bone better than the ones cooked in the slow cooker and I was shocked when he said that it only took two hours to cook them. I would of thought it would take longer for the meat to become meltingly tender in the oven, but thats not the case.

These spiced shanks teamed up with some polenta and green beans makes for a crowd pleasing meal. Aunty Ali enjoyed them immensely; a more comforting dish is hard to find. I’ll definitely be making these again and again.

Who knows? I think even Corks’ Pa might of enjoyed this dish.


jamie’s spiced lamb shanks
I’ve adapted this recipe slightly from Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, The Naked Chef

6 x lamb shanks
A good sprinkling of dried oregano
A good sprinkling of ground coriander
A light sprinkling of dried chilli flakes
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
A good sprinkling of plain flour
A good glug of olive oil
2 x brown onions, finely chopped
3 x cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed with the back of a knife
2 x carrots, peeled, quartered and finely sliced
4 x sticks of celery, quartered and finely sliced
5 x sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 x tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
A glass of white wine
6 x anchovy fillets
2 x 400 gram tins of whole tomatoes
Fresh basil, to serve
Cooked polenta, to serve
Cooked green beans, to serve

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃.
  • Place the shanks on a chopping board lined with baking paper. Season the shanks with oregano, ground coriander, chilli flakes and salt and pepper, turning them over to coat in the spices. Sprinkle the flour over the top and roll the shanks around to coat.
  • In a large heavy based casserole dish, heat a glug of olive oil and brown the shanks on all sides, in batches. Set them aside.
  • Turn the heat down to low-medium and sweat the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and rosemary stirring with a wooden spoon to catch all of the pan juices.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and let it reduce before adding the glass of wine. Cook, stirring for another couple of minutes until the wine has cooked off.
  • Add the anchovies and tomatoes and stir to combine.
  • Re-add the lamb shanks to the casserole dish (adding a splash of water) and bake in the oven with the lid on for an hour and a half.
  • Take the lid off, carefully turn the shanks over and cook with the lid off for another half an hour.
  • Sprinkle the fresh basil over the top and serve piping hot with the polenta and green beans.

Lo’s tips

  • It’s hard to say exactly how many shanks each person will eat as they vary in size. A hungry person will probably eat two shanks while others might only need the one.
  • You could also serve these shanks with mashed potato instead of the polenta.
  • Jamie’s recipe uses marjoram instead of oregano and you can also replace the fresh basil with parsley if you prefer.
  • Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of anchovies. You can’t taste them here but it adds to the seasoning, giving it a nice depth of flavour.








If you make these lamb shanks, please leave your comments below. xx


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