Recipe By Andraya Winters
Published Apr 4th
Prep 20m Cook 3h 30m Additional 1h 10m Ready In 4h 60m
Servings 4 servings Calories 431.7

This lamb shank is tender, juicy, and so flavorful. It is an authentic Persian recipe passed down from my father who was born in Tehran, Iran. It does take a lot of time to prepare but it’s worth it. My friends and family say it’s comparable to something served in a 5-star restaurant. Serve with seasoned lentils, white rice, dill rice, or rice with lima beans. This is a dish to impress, perfect for the holidays!

Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ⅓ cup hot water
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons rosewater
  • ¼ teaspoon crumbled saffron
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
  • ½ teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups hot chicken broth

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over lamb shanks and cover with salt.
  2. 2 Mix turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, cumin, and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Sprinkle over lamb shanks. Let lamb shanks marinate for 1 hour at room temperature.
  3. 3 Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot. Cook and stir onion until browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  4. 4 Whisk hot water, lime juice, rose water, and saffron together in a small bowl. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
  5. 5 Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook lamb shanks in batches until browned, 5 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb shanks to a plate.
  6. 6 Whisk wine into the pot, scraping any browned bits off the bottom. Add onion and garlic mixture, steeped saffron mixture, parsley, thyme, lime zest, and bay leaves. Return lamb shanks to the pot. Cover with chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until lamb shanks are tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
  7. 7 Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
  8. 8 Uncover pot and simmer until broth reduces slightly, about 20 minutes. Transfer lamb shanks to an oven-safe dish.
  9. 9 Place lamb shanks in the preheated oven to keep warm.
  10. 10 Bring broth to a boil; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Spoon broth over lamb shanks.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 431.7
  • Carbohydrate 12.6 g
  • Cholesterol 96.8 mg
  • Fat 27.2 g
  • Fiber 2.7 g
  • Protein 28.9 g
  • Saturated Fat 7.1 g
  • Sodium 8487.9 mg
  • Sugar 4 g

Chef's Notes

Substitute water for the chicken broth if desired.


  1. This recipe hit all the spots. The flavor was divine, as confirmed by my persian missus and step-son (I'm not). I like cooking trying to replicate their home cooking even though I've only probably had it a few times and this one was better than anytime I've had it professionally or home cooked by persians. - Read more ...
  2. The meat turned out incredibly tender. The flavor of the lamb was good. The broth had a prominent flavor I couldnt pinpoint that I tempered with sugar and a little extra cinnamon when reducing. I did omit the rose water because it isnt something I ever use and is too expensive for just a tsp - Read more ...
  3. 1) Remove shanks put into oven safe container pour broth over cover dish with foil put into pre heated oven. 2) Pour flour into large bowl. Remove several ladles cool. 3) When cool combine flour/ broth. Whisk. When thick enough pour into broth on stove. Whisk to combine bring to boil. 4) Add 4 oz. - Read more ...
  4. I have made this recipe twice now. It is a lot of work to prepare but that is part of the fun of cooking. The first time I made it I browned the shanks and made the sauce but added it to a pyrex dish added the broth to cover the meat and then baked - Read more ...
  5. By the way its not an Asian dish its a Middle Eastern dish:))