Lamb shanks with orzo

Early spring, what better time to have a delicious, red meat meal. Tender, succulent lamb shanks that fall away at the bone, this recipe is ideal for cosy-in evenings.

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 40 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Course Dinner


  • 4 NZ lamb shanks
  • 3 tbsp seasoned flour
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 strip of lemon rind
  • 1 cup vegetable stock with an extra cup if needed
  • 400 g can chopped tomatoes in juice
  • 1 cup diced bottled char-grilled capsicum
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Good pinch of brown sugar
  • 2 bulbs garlic
  • 1 cup orzo


  • Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  • Heat a dash of oil in a large heavy based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Dust lamb shanks with seasoned flour then brown all over. Transfer to a casserole dish. (If you have a casserole dish that can go from stovetop-to-oven, then use that).
  • Lower the heat and add the onion and cook until just soft, 5-7 minutes. Add spices, chilli and lemon rind and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.
  • Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, capsicum, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Bring to the boil, season and pour over the lamb shanks. The liquid should just cover the lamb shanks. Place on a tight fitting lid and place in the oven to cook for 2 hours. After an hour, slice garlic bulbs in half horizontally and place in a piece of foil. Drizzle with a little oil then wrap up tightly. Place in the oven beside the lamb shanks and roast until the cloves are very soft.
  • Remove lamb shanks from the oven and add the orzo. Return to the oven and cook for a further half hour. The orzo should be al dente and the meat almost falling off the bone.
  • Serve each person a half of roasted garlic to squeeze over their lamb shanks.


Slow cooker option:
Place all ingredients except orzo in slow cooker and cook on low for 8-9 hours (or high for 4 - 4 1/2 hours). Cook orzo separately and add before serving.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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