Sweet spiced lamb shanks with quince

A cross between a Persian stew and Moroccan tagine, the spices in this slow cooked one-pot are mellow. Serve with rice, couscous or flatbreads

  • Prep:10 mins
    Cook:3 hrs
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 624
  • fat 36g
  • saturates 16g
  • carbs 14g
  • sugars 11g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 59g
  • salt 0.4g


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • large knob of butter
  • 2 large onions, halved then cut into wedges
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 strips zest from 1 unwaxed lemon, plus the juice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • good pinch of saffron strands (optional)
  • 1 heaped tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 400ml good lamb or beef stock
  • 2 quinces, peeled, quartered and cored


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Season the shanks, then brown in the oil for 10 mins, or until dark golden all over.

  2. Meanwhile, in a casserole dish or large pan, melt the butter. Soften the onions for 10 mins on a medium heat until they’re turning golden, then add the garlic. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

  3. Add the strips of lemon zest and spices to the onion pan. Cook for 1 min, then stir in the tomato purée, honey, stock and half the lemon juice. Sit the shanks in the pan, then poke the quince quarters in and around the meat. (It might be quite a tight fit, but the meat will shrink as it cooks.) Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and braise in the oven for 2 hrs.

  4. Remove the lid and cook for 30 mins more. Spoon away any excess fat. The sauce will be fairly thin, so if you prefer a thicker stew, remove the lamb and quinces to a serving plate, then boil the cooking juices until thickened. Season, add the lemon juice and serve with the lamb.

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