Braised Persian Lamb Shanks cooked in cranberry juice and stock, with onion, carrot and butternut squash, along with Ras el Hanout for a Persian twist.
Learn how to slow cook lamb shanks in the oven, for incredibly tender fall off the bone lamb meat.
This braised lamb recipe is a nice romantic meal for two, on Valentine's Day, Special Anniversary or your partners Birthday.
How to cook Persian lamb shanks?
Check out our slideshow video for the best way to cook lamb shanks in the oven; slow-cooked at low heat.
Continue to the recipe card for all the ingredients needed to make this Persian lamb recipe. Measurements for this lamb shank recipe are given in UK grams and mls and US cups.Jump to Recipe
Persian lamb recipe idea
We have added a few ingredients to this slow cooked lamb shank recipe to give it a great Persian twist.
Starting with a simple base of onions and carrot with garlic and sundried tomato puree.
Ras el Hanout
Ras el Hanout is a mix of spices, commonly used in Persian recipes. We picked ours up from Sainsbury's in the dried herb section.
It contains paprika, cumin, chilli, cinnamon, and rose petals. However, some blends may contain additional herbs/spices.
Cranberries are often used in Persian recipes using cranberry juice brings a tart sweetness to the dish.
How to cook lamb shanks in the oven?
The best way to cook lamb shanks is not only slow cooking in the oven at a low temperature but also with plenty of liquid. This method of slow-cooking is also known as oven braising.
Firstly sear the outside of the shanks in oil until slightly browned, this is a very important step for building flavour and texture.
Once browned, remove seared lamb from the pan whilst you create the Persian spiced sauce, to cook the lamb shanks in.
Sautee carrots and onions in the leftover lamb oils until softened. Stir in garlic, sundried tomato puree, and ras el hanout.
Finally, add Cranberry Juice and a stock cube bring to boil, then lower to a simmer.
Add the seared lamb shanks back into the pan, season with salt & pepper & place lid on. If you haven't got a hob to oven lidded pot, transfer it all into an oven-safe dish & cover it with foil.
How long to oven cook lamb shanks?
The best way to cook lamb shanks is slow cooking in the oven at a low temperature. At 150°C fan / 170°C conventional oven / 325°F or Gas Mark 3 it takes about 2 ½ hours to cook lamb shanks.
For the first 1hr 45 minutes of cooking time just cook the lamb in the sauce. Remove from the oven, baste the lamb using the cooking juices, adding more stock if you like?
Now add in large chunks of butternut squash, replace the lid and cook for a further 45 minutes.
How to check if lamb shank is cooked?
It is easy to check if your lamb shanks are cooked, simply use a fork to pull away from the bone, it should pull away very easily. As seen in the below picture.
Look how easily the lamb pulls away from the bone, pure perfection!
Finally, the wait is over, there you have it amazing succulent lamb with butternut squash and a fantastic Persian inspired sauce to pour over the top!
We like the sauce the way it is but if you want it runnier, add more stock. Or to make it thicker, add some cornstarch or flour and heat in a saucepan to thicken.
We served our Persian Lamb Shank & Butternut Squash on top of our Fragrant Saffron Cous Cous to keep the Middle Eastern food theme.
What to serve with Lamb Shanks?
Persian Lamb Shanks Oven Braised
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 Lamb Shanks
- 1 Onion Chopped small
- 1 Carrot Chopped small
- 1 tbsp Sundried Tomato Puree or 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp Garlic Puree or 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 1 tbsp Ras el hanout spice
- 500 ml (2 cups) Cranberry Juice
- 1 Lamb stock cube
- 450 grams (3 cups) Butternut Squash Cut into cubes
- Salt & Pepper season to your liking
- Preheat Oven to 150°C fan / 170°C conventional oven / 325°F or Gas Mark 3In a lidded cast iron or casserole dish, brown the outside of both lamb shanks in 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.Remove from the pan and set aside whilst you create the sauce
- Add onions and carrot into the remaining oil fry until softened (5-8 minutes)
- Add garlic, sundried tomato puree and ras el hanuet in with the softened onion and carrot, stir together.Add cranberry juice and stock cube, bring to the boil.
- Take off heat, return lamb shanks back to the pan, baste the lamb shanks with the sauce, add thyme sprigs to sauce and season with salt & pepper before placing the lid on. (If you have not got a hob to oven pan/dish, place lamb and sauce in an ovenproof dish and cover with foil)Cook for 1hr and 45 minutes
- Remove from the oven, turn shanks over & re-baste the shanks with sauce.
- Add cubed butternut squash around the lamb in the sauce, replace the lid and cook for a further 45 minutes. Until the lamb falls off the bone and the butternut squash has softened. You can cook for longer if needed.
- Serve up with your chosen side and the butternut squash
We sped up the process of making this Persian Lamb Recipe by using Gia Garlic Puree – pick it up at any UK supermarket, save time fiddling with peeling, chopping and pressing garlic.
As well as Gia Sundried Tomato Puree – available from most supermarkets, adds the richness of sundried tomatoes to any recipe.
A great alternative to use in place of regular Tomato puree, to add extra richness. You will only need half the amount of this compared to regular puree! It gives these lamb shanks an extra richness!
All the purees can be stored in the fridge for 1 month after opening. Ready to use on your next recipe. Unquestionably, a store cupboard staple!
Looking for more lamb recipe ideas? We have plenty to choose from!