Slow-baked spiced lamb shanks with herb salad and spiced hummus

Donal Skehan: A blend of tasty ingredients to keep all your guests happy

The meat should be almost falling off the bone but still holding its shape.

The meat should be almost falling off the bone but still holding its shape.

Thu, Apr 20, 2017, 16:36

  • Serves: 4
  • Cooking Time: 130 mins
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern


  • For the lamb shanks:
  • 1-2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 4 lamb shanks (about 400g each)
  • 4 red onions, sliced in a quarters, roots intact
  • 500ml lamb, chicken or vegetable stock
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • For the spice rub:
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh turmeric, finely grated
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 6 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • For the hummus:
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini paste
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons
  • A good pinch of sea salt
  • For the salad:
  • A good handful of coriander, leaves picked
  • A good handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
  • A good handful of mint, leaves picked
  • A good handful of dill, sprigs picked
  • 100g rocket leaves
  • 75g sliced almonds, toasted
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon


The spice rub used for this recipe is one that I have used frequently, particularly if I can get my hands on fresh turmeric. Of course you can use dried but there is a pungency to the fresh root that outdoes the powder. The mix can be used to marinade chicken or fish and is especially delicious if either are cooked over hot coals. Feel free to cheat and buy store-bought hummus but do add this to the plate for its sharp creaminess. The beauty of this dish is it can be made the night before or up to a few days in advance and will improve with a little time spent in the fridge.

For the spice rub, place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add a generous seasoning of sea salt and ground black pepper. Add the lamb shanks to the mixture in the bowl and toss to coat. Leave the shanks to marinate in the fridge covered for 30 minutes or ideally overnight to allow the spices to permeate the meat.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Place a large, frying pan over a high heat. Add a glug of oil and brown the lamb shanks on each side. Remove the lamb shanks from the pan and place along with the onions in a large high-sided roasting tray. Deglaze the pan using the chicken stock and then pour this into the base of the roasting tray. Cover the tray tightly with tin foil and bake in the oven for two hours or until completely tender. The meat should be almost falling off the bone but still holding its shape.

Pour the chickpeas into a food processor and add the garlic cloves, olive oil, cumin, tahini paste, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and sea salt.

Blitz until smooth, and if your mixture looks a little too stiff, simply loosen it with a little water. The hummus will last covered in a fridge for four to five days.

For the salad, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice and season generously to taste. Add the remaining ingredients just before you are ready to serve and toss through the dressing to coat.

Serve the lamb shanks with the red onions, a dollop of hummus and the fresh herb salad.