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.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
3 hrs 30 mins
additional:
15 mins
total:
4 hrs
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

333 calories; protein 17.3g 35% DV; carbohydrates 20.1g 7% DV; fat 12.9g 20% DV; cholesterol 44.5mg 15% DV; sodium 311.4mg 13% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (4)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
01/01/2015
I had this dish in Northern Peru a few years ago and it was amazing. A few of changes I made were using Ayi Amarillo paste cilantro paste half the amount of beef broth and more oil. Serve with canary beans (made to your liking) and white rice. Read More
(1)
4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
12/15/2016
My review is based off of the lamb only. I had another side dish planned to go with the lamb so I did not use the potatoes and peas. My lamb pieces were small so I was unable to cook it long enough to let the sauce thicken but the flavor was excellent and turned out super tender! I wanted some extra texture to serve on top of my lamb pieces so I made the parsley vinegar sauce from Chef John's Roasted Lamb Breast recipe from this site. Like other reviewers I was able to find the pepper in paste form and it was delicious! Expensive but delicious. Lamb cuts are not easy to find in my area and it is expensive when I do find it. That is a shame because I could make this recipe every single week. It was really that good. Very impressive! Thanks for sharing! Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
01/01/2015
I had this dish in Northern Peru a few years ago and it was amazing. A few of changes I made were using Ayi Amarillo paste cilantro paste half the amount of beef broth and more oil. Serve with canary beans (made to your liking) and white rice. Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
01/20/2015
Less time in oven. I only needed the 2 hours for some reason. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
01/25/2016
Made this recipe with 24 lamb shanks for wine & dine group and they loved it! Followed the recipe (omitted potatoes) and proportions using 5X the other ingredients. Also added a jar of Aji Amarillo paste and cilantro paste as another reviewer suggested. Made a day in advance then reheated. Lamb was falling off the bones rich and wonderful! Served the shanks on a platter and poured the sauce and peas from the pans into a bowl with ladel. Garnished with fresh cilantro springs and served with Brazilian-style rice. Excellent! Would definitely do again! Read More