Lamb Shanks with Cilantro Sauce


A few years back, Lima, Peru was named the culinary capital of the western hemisphere. With such deceptively simple yet delirious delicious food, one can see why. This is my take on a traditional lamb stew called 'seco cordero.' Pisco is a Peruvian spirit made from grapes similar to but not exactly like grappa. You can substitute grappa or leave it out entirely. Goes well with white rice; excellent day-of or reheated the next. This could also be made in a slow cooker.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs
4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • ½ red onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 aji amarillo pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped

  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth

  • 1 cup Riesling wine

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 lamb shanks

  • 1 extra-large baking potato, cut into large chunks

  • 1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger Peruvian pisco liquor

  • ½ cup frozen peas


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook and stir red onion, aji pepper, garlic, cumin, salt, and black pepper in hot oil until onion begins to brown, about 10 minutes; transfer cooked onion mixture to a blender and add cilantro, beef broth, and Riesling wine. Blend the mixture into a smooth sauce, 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. Heat 1 more tablespoon olive oil in same pot over medium heat; brown lamb shanks on all sides in hot oil, about 2 minutes per side. Pour cilantro sauce over lamb shanks and cover with lid.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours. Add potato chunks to the pot. Pour pisco over lamb and vegetables. Continue baking until lamb is very tender and sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 more hour. Remove from oven and sprinkle peas over the lamb; cover pot to let peas heat through, about 10 minutes. Let lamb shanks cool 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

333 Calories
13g Fat
20g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 333
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 311mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 14mg 70%
Calcium 49mg 4%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 686mg 15%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.