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Black Garlic & Tomato Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks

A warming, deeply moreish Lamb recipe and a great twist on the usual Easter Lamb roast for your Easter Sunday lunch. This will warm your cockles if you're planning an outdoor lunch this year because of the lockdown restrictions.

Serve it with a bold, spicy red like a Chateau Musar Rouge.

This is adapted from Sabrina Ghayour's Persiana and is absolutely not for garlic-phobes!

Black Garlic & Tomato Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks

20-30 mins to prep | 3hrs to cook

4-6 Lambshanks (one per person)

Olive oil

2 large Onions, diced

3 tsp Ground Cumin

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

2 Bay Leaves

Plenty of fresh Thyme

2 x 400g cans Chopped Tomatoes

6 Large Tomatoes, halved

4 tbsp syrupy Balsamic Vinegar

1 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses

Black Garlic cloves -as many as you dare, the original recipe calls for 2 whole bulbs!

To serve:

Sweet Potato & Roasted Garlic Mash

8 large Sweet Potatoes (you'll need more than you think as roasting will reduce them)

2 Garlic bulbs

Salt, pepper,

Olive oil

NOTE: You might want to do a plain potato mash as well, so you have enough lovely fluffy carbs to soak up all that spiced lamb goodness. Roasting the sweet potatoes reduced the volume quite a lot, so don't be caught short.


You will need a huge pan and at least 3 hours of solid cooking time for everything to come together.

Depending on how your lamb shanks come, you will want to trim off as much of the silver skin / connective tissue / sinew as possible. Do a 'French Trim' by trimming off some of the meat around the pointy bone end; you're aiming for a few centimetres of nice clean bones poking out of the shanks, (so slice and scrape it off as best you can).

Heat the olive oil and sweat the diced onions slowly over a medium heat.

Then add the dry spices, cook for a couple of minutes, and remove from the pan onto a plate. Then add the lamb shanks to the pan to seal them on all sides.

Once sealed, return the spiced onion mixture to the pan.

Season with salt and pepper. Add bay leaves, thyme, your canned and fresh tomatoes, the balsamic vinegar and pomegranate molasses and then just enough water to cover the meat. Bring everything to a brief simmer, then turn it down to a low-medium heat, and let it do its thing for 2 hours with the lid on.

2 hours later you will come back and it won't look anywhere near done, but trust the process. This is where you add your cloves of black garlic, poking them into the sauce, as many as you dare!

Continue to cook it for an additional hour, with the lid off, and you will have a thick, rich, tomato sauce and lamb that is absolutely melting off the bone.

I served this with a sweet potato and roasted garlic mash, because I'm a garlic-fiend:

Roasted Sweet Potato & Garlic Mash:


Preheat oven to 190 degrees.

Peel the sweet potatoes, chop them into chunks, drizzle with oil, season with pepper and roast for 1.5 hrs until soft and the caramelised sugar is oozing from them. Mash them up with a good seasoning of salt and more pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, slice the head off two garlic bulbs (bulbs, not cloves) leaving the garlic skin intact but slicing enough off the top to expose the raw cloves. Drizzle olive oil into an oven proof dish and place the bulbs face down, roots facing upwards. Drizzle a little more oil on top. Roast these for 45mins - 1 hour. The garlic cloves will go gooey and caramelised. This part is a bit messy but totally worth it - once the bulbs have cooled a bit, squeeze the entire bulb so that the gooey insides squeeze out.

When you're ready to serve, you can either mash everything up together or serve the 'confit'/roasted garlic on the side for people to add to their mash as they please!

Serve with a bold, spicy red with lots of dark, ripe fruit character like a Chateau Musar Rouge which will match the earthy spices and some of the gentle sweetness.

This is how it looks before it's had its slow cooked:

This is how it looks once it's all come together into a dark, rich thick sauce after 3 hours, and it's so delicious you nearly forget to take a picture!

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