asian braised lamb shanks

Recipe printed from chiknpastry

Asian-Spiced Lamb Shanks
Original recipe, adapted on the fly by my new friend, Mark; serves 4 but is easily adaptable to more

i hope you like flavor because these are loaded with it. we served our shanks with a butternut squash puree (ours included onions and various root vegetables (Christmas leftovers!) pureed with brick oven-roasted butternut squash with soy sauce, brown sugar, 5-spice powder, cinnamon, ginger, milk, and lime juice) and wilted spinach (sauteed with garlic & ginger). enjoy!

1 T evoo
4 whole lamb shanks
salt & pepper
2 T five spice powder, divided
1/2 t g cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 star anise pod
3 T Chinese rice wine
1/3 c soy sauce
2 T tamarind concentrate*
2 T brown sugar
2 T chopped ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bottle of Chinese beer**
1 T flour (or 1 T cornstarch dissolved in a little water)
lime juice, if needed


  1. Heat large skillet over med-hi heat with oil. Combine salt, pepper, 1 T five-spice and ground cinnamon in small bowl. Rub mixture onto lamb shanks. Sear lamb shanks on each side until nicely browned and remove from pan, place on plate and sit aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 225 F.
  3. Toast cinnamon stick, chili flakes, remaining five-spice, & star anise pod in a small skillet. Mix with Chinese rice wine, soy, tamarind concentrate, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, beer. Arrange seared lamb shanks in large dutch oven, pour spice mixture over. Cover.
  4. Place dutch oven in oven and braise for 1 ¼ hr. Increase heat to 300 and braise another 1 ¼ hr. Increase heat again to 350 F and braise another 45 minutes - 1 hour, until meat is falling off the bone. Remove from oven, and keep warm.
  5. Strain braising juices into another pot. Add 1 T flour and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer until sauce is thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper and freshen with lime juice if desired.
  6. Optional: if preparing lamb shanks ahead of time, place shanks and thickened braising liquid back into dutch oven and refrigerate up to 3 days. Reheat over medium, skimming any fat that has accumulated.
  7. Serve shanks with thickened sauce and your chosen sides.

*There was no tamarind concentrate to be found in Greensboro, NC (and not time to mail-order), so Mark found tamarind pods at Harris Teeter and crushed them and let them simmer in some orange juice until reduced to a thick consistency.

**You can use water or beef stock if you prefer. If you do though, increase the spices a little bit.