Make This Spicy Cumin Lamb Shank for Your Easter Sunday Dinner

April 21, 2019

Lamb and its many associations with the bible has become associated with the special meal to celebrate Easter. But whether you’re Christian or not, there’s nothing wrong with looking for a good excuse to try a new lamb recipe. This one takes a combination of spices to create a complex lamb shank dish.

Mary had a little bit of lamb.

You can usually find lamb shanks in the frozen section of your local grocery. When in doubt, ask a butcher! And the rest of the ingredients are easy to find, if not already in your pantry. While this recipe takes patience, you’re rewarded with a slide-off-the-bone soft meat dish that will have you praising god(s) you may or may not believe in.

Spicy Lamb Shank

  • Serves: 4 people
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: Medium


Spice Mix

  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon


  • 4 lamb shanks, about 200g each
  • 3 tbsp. oil


  • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup ginger, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups beef stock or water
  • 1 tbsp. Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp. black vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ tbsp. sugar


  • ½ cup spring onions, sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together cumin, curry powder, chili powder, and cinnamon until well incorporated.
  3. Rub the spice mix evenly over the four shanks, making sure to coat all sides.
  4. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Brown the lamb shanks on all sides, making sure not to crowd the pan.
  6. Remove the browned lamb from the pot and lower heat to medium-low.
  7. In the pot, add red onion, ginger, and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add stock/water, cooking wine, black vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, and salt and pepper to pot and stir.
  9. Return shanks to pot and cover the pot with a lid.
  10. Remove pot from heat and place in preheated oven, and bake for 2 ½ hours.
  11. Remove the pot from the oven and place on stovetop over medium-high heat.
  12. Remove lid, add sugar, and stir.
  13. Let sauce reduce until thick and glossy.
  14. Remove pot from stove and garnish with sliced spring onions and cilantro.
Bea Osmeña SEE AUTHOR Bea Osmeña

Bea Osmeña is a healthy-ish eater who is just as likely to take you to a vegan joint as she is to consume a whole cheese pie to herself. A former picky eater, Bea has discovered the joys of savory fruit dishes, but still refuses to accept pineapples on her pizza. On the rare occasion you catch her without food in her mouth, you are likely to find her looking at books she can't afford, hugging trees, or talking to strange animals on the street.

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