Hot 'n' Spicy Lamb Shanks Recipe

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The first time I made this dish, I was planning a special evening with my boyfriend. I was completely unaware that he, too, had special plans for that evening-a proposal! —Joylyn Trickel
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 2-3/4 hours
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 2-3/4 hours
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 4 lamb shanks (about 12 ounces each)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • GLAZE:
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime peel

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 507 calories, 22g fat (4g saturated fat), 32mg cholesterol, 906mg sodium, 61g carbohydrate (40g sugars, 5g fiber), 13g protein.


  1. In a large Dutch oven or soup kettle, brown lamb shanks, two at a time, in 3 tablespoons oil. Remove meat and discard drippings. In same pan, saute onions, garlic and jalapeno in remaining oil until tender, scraping up any browned bits.
  2. Add the tomatoes, broth, wine, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, cumin and bay leaves. Add lamb. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 1 hour. Rearrange shanks so the top ones are on the bottom. Simmer 1 hour longer. Meanwhile, combine the glaze ingredients.
  3. Transfer shanks to a foil-lined 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Brush with some of the glaze. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes. Turn and brush with glaze; bake 5 minutes longer.
  4. Meanwhile, skim and discard any fat from the cooking juices. Discard bay leaves. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 5 minutes to reduce slightly. Serve with shanks. Yield: 4 servings.
Editor's Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
Originally published as Hot 'n' Spicy Lamb Shanks in Test Kitchen Favorites 2004 2005, p125

Full-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.

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