Vietnamese lamb shanks with sweet potatoes

Vietnamese lamb shanks with sweet potatoes

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(36 ratings)

By

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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 3 hrs

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 4

Meltingly tender and full of classic Asian flavours, these lamb shanks are perfect for freezing

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
  • Easily halved
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
-
protein
-
carbs
-
fat
-
saturates
-
fibre
-
sugar
-
salt
-

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 4 lamb shanks, about 350g each
  • 2 onions, halved and cut into half moons
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 red chillies, both deseeded, one chopped and one thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar, plus 1 tsp
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed, then bruised
  • 1.2l lamb stock
  • 1½ tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • juice 2 limes
  • big handful mint leaves, torn
  • handful basil leaves

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Method

  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole, season the shanks, then brown them 2 at a time on all sides, adding the remaining oil for the second batch. Remove the lamb and add the onions. Fry them quite briskly, about 30 secs, add the ginger, garlic and chopped chilli, then turn the heat down and cook for 1 min. Add 1 tbsp sugar, stir, then add the star anise, lemongrass, stock, purée and seasoning. Bring to the boil.
  2. Cover and cook in the oven for 1½ hrs, then add the sweet potatoes and cook for 1 hr more. The lamb should be completely tender and almost falling off the bones. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and 1 tsp sugar to just lift the flavour, then scatter with the mint, basil and the sliced chilli to serve.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2009

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Comments

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louiseabrantes's picture
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WOW!!! :-)

1195seamus's picture
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Wow, this is truly gorgeous - if I could give it 6 stars I would.

With the price of lamb as it is at the moment I felt I needed to treat my 2 small shanks with the respect one would normally pay to Dover sole, truffles or caviar - so rather than throwing them into the oven with some root veg and wine like I usually do, I searched for a really special recipe and found it here. The flavours are sublime, salty, sweet, tangy and fresh. My husband loved it and I can't wait to cook it on a special occasion for my friends and family. I tend to adapt any recipe according to taste or what I have in the kitchen at the time but the only changes I made were to cook at 150C for 5 hours in total [ Iprefer the meat to be meltingly tender ] I also substituted the sweet potato with butternut squash and added parnips and carrots after 2 hours and cooked for a further 3 hours so that the veg soaks up more of the lovely flavours.

mrskiedis's picture

Absolutely delicious. Have made this in our slow cooker as well, but add the sweet potatoes about an hour before the end or they turn to mush.

cheffling's picture
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Beautiful dish, simple and very flavorful. I added an extra 30min to the cooking time at the original temperature. I also added a few cloves and a half cinnamon stick to pack in a little more flavor, also the lovely numbing of the cloves. Cannot wait to cook this again, what a great take on traditional shanks!

tellybwmbas's picture
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karolek...chicken or vegetable stock are good substitutes.

This was gorgeous, a really nice variation for lamb shanks, and well worth the little effort to make it. The smells from the kitchen were wonderful!

karolka_k92's picture

Where do I get a lamb stock? Do I have to make it or buy it? Can I use something else? I want to try it because it sounds great but I'm not a very experienced cook so I hesitate to waste so much of lovely lamb.

adstabaker's picture
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Some really nice flavours. I cooked on 150 degrees for 90mins then another 60 as the recipe said, but I think on this low heat it needs to be a fair bit longer, probably another 90mins as the meat did not fall off the bone easily and the fat did not melt away. This would be a gorgeous meal if cooked for longer

whitchypuss's picture
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this is lovely and really easy, I made it and then let it cool so i could skim of the fat, then reheated it. it was surprisingly light and made a great change to my usual braised lamb shanks.

bungo38's picture

jayprime - the fish sauce adds a certain subtle complexity to southeast asian cookery but doesn't doesn't taste 'fishy' in the finished dish. sort of like blachan in malaysian food. however, when I make aubergine and broccoli laksa for my vegetarian son I substitute soy sauce.

haven't tried this one yet but will - sounds delish.

jayprime's picture

What is the purpose of the fish sauce?
Since many people are allergic to fish, what could be used instead?

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