Rating: 4.4 stars
5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

This lamb shank is tender, juicy, and so flavorful. It is an authentic Persian recipe passed down from my father who was born in Tehran, Iran. It does take a lot of time to prepare but it's worth it. My friends and family say it's comparable to something served in a 5-star restaurant. Serve with seasoned lentils, white rice, dill rice, or rice with lima beans. This is a dish to impress, perfect for the holidays!

Recipe Summary test

prep:
20 mins
cook:
3 hrs 30 mins
additional:
1 hr 10 mins
total:
5 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
  • Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over lamb shanks and cover with salt.

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  • Mix turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, cumin, and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Sprinkle over lamb shanks. Let lamb shanks marinate for 1 hour at room temperature.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot. Cook and stir onion until browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

  • Whisk hot water, lime juice, rose water, and saffron together in a small bowl. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes.

  • Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook lamb shanks in batches until browned, 5 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb shanks to a plate.

  • Whisk wine into the pot, scraping any browned bits off the bottom. Add onion and garlic mixture, steeped saffron mixture, parsley, thyme, lime zest, and bay leaves. Return lamb shanks to the pot. Cover with chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until lamb shanks are tender, about 2 1/2 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).

  • Uncover pot and simmer until broth reduces slightly, about 20 minutes. Transfer lamb shanks to an oven-safe dish.

  • Place lamb shanks in the preheated oven to keep warm.

  • Bring broth to a boil; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Spoon broth over lamb shanks.

Cook's Note:

Substitute water for the chicken broth if desired.

Nutrition Facts

432 calories; protein 28.9g; carbohydrates 12.6g; fat 27.2g; cholesterol 96.8mg; sodium 8487.9mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (6)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
09/10/2019
This recipe hit all the spots. The flavor was divine, as confirmed by my persian missus and step-son (I'm not). I like cooking trying to replicate their home cooking even though I've only probably had it a few times and this one was better than anytime I've had it professionally or home cooked by persians. I did use an Instant Pot instead as I've had better luck that way (36 mins on Meat/(high pressure) + natural release). It is straight forward to adapt. I've done lamb shanks braised in oven many times and it is similar but with the IP I find the meat even more tender and flavorful and easier to control. Read More

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
04/08/2018
I have made this recipe twice now. It is a lot of work to prepare but that is part of the fun of cooking. The first time I made it I browned the shanks and made the sauce but added it to a pyrex dish added the broth to cover the meat and then baked covered in the oven first at 425 for 30 min and then reduced heat to 375 for another 2 hours. When I tasted the sauce it was too sharp so I added 1/3 cup of brown sugar to the sauce as I reduced it on a pot on the stove. I also added a few chopped prunes to the sauce. The meat was delicious very tender and the sauce was fantastic. It had all the flavors of the spices but was much richer and mellow rather than only following the recipe. I made it for the second time this week using my modifications and again it was delicious. I can only give 3 stars though due to the modifications made. Read More
5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
01/15/2018
By the way its not an Asian dish its a Middle Eastern dish:)) Read More
Rating: 4 stars
08/22/2019
The meat turned out incredibly tender. The flavor of the lamb was good. The broth had a prominent flavor I couldnt pinpoint that I tempered with sugar and a little extra cinnamon when reducing. I did omit the rose water because it isnt something I ever use and is too expensive for just a tsp or two. Btw, my 32 month old couldnt get enough of this lamb which shocked both parents. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
04/08/2018
I have made this recipe twice now. It is a lot of work to prepare but that is part of the fun of cooking. The first time I made it I browned the shanks and made the sauce but added it to a pyrex dish added the broth to cover the meat and then baked covered in the oven first at 425 for 30 min and then reduced heat to 375 for another 2 hours. When I tasted the sauce it was too sharp so I added 1/3 cup of brown sugar to the sauce as I reduced it on a pot on the stove. I also added a few chopped prunes to the sauce. The meat was delicious very tender and the sauce was fantastic. It had all the flavors of the spices but was much richer and mellow rather than only following the recipe. I made it for the second time this week using my modifications and again it was delicious. I can only give 3 stars though due to the modifications made. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
09/10/2019
This recipe hit all the spots. The flavor was divine, as confirmed by my persian missus and step-son (I'm not). I like cooking trying to replicate their home cooking even though I've only probably had it a few times and this one was better than anytime I've had it professionally or home cooked by persians. I did use an Instant Pot instead as I've had better luck that way (36 mins on Meat/(high pressure) + natural release). It is straight forward to adapt. I've done lamb shanks braised in oven many times and it is similar but with the IP I find the meat even more tender and flavorful and easier to control. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/04/2019
1) Remove shanks put into oven safe container pour broth over cover dish with foil put into pre heated oven. 2) Pour flour into large bowl. Remove several ladles cool. 3) When cool combine flour/ broth. Whisk. When thick enough pour into broth on stove. Whisk to combine bring to boil. 4) Add 4 oz. of pomegranate juice to mix... OR to taste... 5) When thick & tasty enough... pull shanks from oven pour thickened sauce over. 6) Serve with saffron rice... 7) ENJOY... 8) Take the left over sauce and freeze.... Add to your cooking liquid the next time you make this....... Read More