Spiced Slow-cooked Lamb Shanks

This is one of the cheapest and tastiest cuts of lamb. Cooked this way, the sauce is very tasty and the meat will just fall off the bone. Served with potato mash, polenta, couscous or rice, it is a wonderful dish.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 2 hr 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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4 lamb shanks

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 small dried red chile (or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chile)

1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 large carrot, quartered and finely sliced

6 sticks celery, quartered and finely sliced

2 medium-large onions, quartered and finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

6 fluid ounces (170 milliliters) dry white wine

6 anchovy fillets

2 (14-ounce/400 gram) tins whole plum tomatoes

1 handful fresh basil, marjoram or flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Season the lamb with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Smash up the coriander seeds and dried chile and mix with the dried marjoram. Roll the lamb in this mixture, pressing it in well. Dust the lamb with the flour.
  3. Heat a thick-bottomed casserole pan, add the oil, brown the meat on all sides and then remove from the pan. Add the garlic, carrot, celery, onions, chopped rosemary, and a pinch of salt and sweat them until softened. Add the balsamic vinegar and allow it to reduce to a syrup. Pour in the white wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the anchovies (these really seem to intensify the lamb flavor) and then add the tinned tomatoes, kept whole. Shake the pan and return the lamb to it. Bring to a boil, put on the lid and simmer in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, then remove the lid and cook for a further 1/2 hour. Skim off any fat and taste for seasoning. Finally, stir in a handful of roughly chopped fresh basil, marjoram or flat-leaf parsley.