South-east Asian Lamb Shank with sweet potatoes

Serves: 4 - 6

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hr 
Total time: 1 hr 15 mins


2 Heartier Lamb Shanks

1 Onion, sliced

1 tbsp ginger, minced

2 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

1 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 star anise

1 lemongrass stalk, bashed

600ml lamb or chicken stock

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 lime

Handful of mint, roughly chopped

Handful of basil leaves

Vegetable oil

Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 140C and heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy based casserole pan.

  2. Season the lamb shanks and brown them in the pan on all sides.

  3. Remove the lamb and set aside. Then add the onions and fry vigorously for 1 minute before adding the ginger, garlic and chilli. Turn down the heat and cook for another minute.

  4. Add the sugar and tomato puree and stir. Then add the star anise, lemongrass, stock and seasoning and bring to the boil.

  5. Return the lamb to the pan, cover with a tight lid and put in the preheated oven for 1 ½ hours. Then add the sweet potatoes.

  6. Cook for a further hour until the lamb is completely tender and then stir in the fish sauce, another tsp of sugar and squeeze the lime in to intensify the flavour.

  7. If the sauce is too thin, return the hob and bring to the boil until the sauce is reduced down and thick.

  8. Sprinkle over the chopped mint, basil and more chilli before serving.


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