Spiced Braised Lamb Shanks with Green Olives

Spiced Braised Lamb Shanks with Green Olives

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 20-30 minutes

Cook Time: 1.5-2 hours

Total Time: 2-2.5 hours


For the Spiced Braised Lamb Shanks with Green Olives:

  • 4 lamb shanks, trimmed (ask your butcher!)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or lamb stock
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup green olives, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, plus more for garnish
  • Zest of 1 lemon


1. Prep the Lamb Shanks: 

Season the lamb shanks generously with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the lamb shanks and brown them on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the shanks from the pot and set aside.

2. Sauté the Aromatics: Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic to the pot and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and ginger, and cook, stirring, for another minute, until fragrant.

3. Braise the Lamb: Return the lamb shanks to the pot. Add the chicken or lamb stock and the diced tomatoes with their juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer gently for about 2 to 2.5 hours, or until the lamb is very tender and nearly falling off the bone.

4. Add Olives and Lemon: Once the lamb is tender, stir in the green olives, lemon juice, and half of the chopped cilantro or parsley. Add the lemon zest. Simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Serve: Transfer the lamb shanks to serving plates. Spoon the sauce and olives over the shanks. Garnish with the remaining chopped cilantro or parsley and serve with our Carrot Tabbouleh.