Lamb Shanks with Ancho Chile Honey Glaze Recipe -
Lamb Shanks with Ancho Chile Honey Glaze Recipe
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Lamb Shanks with Ancho Chile Honey Glaze

Recipe by  

"A lamb lovers dream! This is one of my favorite lamb recipes. I've had so many requests after serving this at dinner parties that I decided to post it here. Get the shanks in the oven. Make the glaze and topping, then take an hour long nap, have a bath, and presto! Dinner's ready! Bon Appetite."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    45 mins
  • COOK

    2 hrs

    2 hrs 45 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Heat oil in large Dutch oven or enamel baking pot. Sear shanks on all sides and set aside. In the same pot, saute onion and garlic 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 ancho chilies, tomatoes and chicken stock. Season with cumin, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Boil briefly, then return shanks to pan.
  2. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Meat should be just ready to fall off the bone.
  3. To make the glaze: Cover 6 ancho chilies with boiling water, and soak for 10 minutes. In a food processor, combine chilies, 1 cup water, honey and orange zest. Process until smooth; set aside.
  4. To make the topping: In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, cilantro and salt. Cover, and refrigerate.
  5. When the shanks are done, remove them from the Dutch oven, and place them into an oiled roasting pan. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spread glaze over shanks and return to oven until light crust forms, 6 to 10 minutes. Serve on large plates surrounded by tomato base and topped with the refreshing yogurt mixture.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 17, 2005

Absolutely stunning. I served it with mashed potatoes and green beans. I made extra but found that it is better eaten on the day it is made as it doesn't taste as good when re-heated.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Aug 03, 2008

Unfortunately, I was disappointed with this recipe. Followed the directions exactly as written; the lamb was cooked perfectly, however, it was the combination of flavors that disappointed. The orange did not blend well with the ancho chile's and the crust did not firm up as promised. My husband thought the tomato sauce was unnecessary and did not feel it enhanced the flavor of the lamb. Will use the cooking method again as the lamb was moist and flavorful, but I'll try it with another combination of flavors.


24 Ratings

Sep 09, 2007

This was absolutely outstanding! I made the dish for a dinner party last night and the guests enjoyed it so much that one of them - a professional chef - actually licked his plate! I followed the recipe exactly, except for adding trhe jiuce of an orange as well as zest to the glaze, becuase I wanted something a little sharper. I hadn't intended to make the yoghurt dressing, but I'm glad I did - it added a lovely cool contrast to the smoky juiciness of the lamb. This is an amaziong recipe - thank you so much for sharing it. if I could give it six stars, I would!

Dec 23, 2008

Thanks for the great recipe! Very unique flavors that I will definitely be experimenting with. My girlfriend loved it and she has HATED lamb every other time she's had it. Now, here are the changes and additions I made to the recipe, I added about a 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper after I browned the shanks and about 1 tbsp. of sugar to the tomatoe puree to counter some of the acidity. I eliminated 1 cup of the tomatoe puree and 1 cup of chicken stock and substituted 2 cups of red wine instead:) After the braising, instead of turning up the oven to 400-degrees, I placed the rack high on my oven and turned it on broil. I brushed on the glaze and broiled with a very watchful eye to prevent burning. I made a cilantro oil (bunch of cilantro, olive oil, salt & pepper blended in a food processor) which complimented the glaze awesomely!! I brushed on some cilantro oil during the broiling process too and it made the world of difference (Flavor town baby!). I served it on a bed of Creamy Cotija cheese and Chive Polenta, drizzled with some fresh cilantro oil. Didn't plate the braising liquid becuase I found it unnecessary.

Nov 13, 2006

I made this dish for my husband, who is a retired chef, and he LOVED it! I couldn't find the dried anchos so I substituded fresh chili peppers and added ancho powder and it was delicious! This was a very easy dish to make (it took time to cook but no time at all to put together). It was sweet and 'hot' at the same time...but not overwhelmingly so...evne my 83 y.o. mother in law loved it! I doubled the honey glaze and used it on chicken wings the next day...equally delicious!

Feb 26, 2008

Excellent. We didn't have ancho chilis either, just use whatever you enjoy.

Jul 04, 2008

This recipe is absolutely sensational - the combination of the dried ancho chillies - a very subtle smoky flavour, mild not hot - with the honey glaze is just amazing!!! Can I say to people that used red chillies, you have not exp-erienced what this recipe is all about. Here, in Australia, it is not very easy to find ancho chillies, I got some by chance interstate, and have now located a source in Melbourne. I'm sure you will find it a lot easier to get these if you live in the US. Thank you so much - a terrific recipe! Jan

Jun 19, 2008

I made this lamb dish today, and I must say it was very tasty. The yogurt I thought was a bit iffy on but once I ate some with the lamb it was perfect. My boyfriend loved it. He kept raving about how great a cook I am (but I already knew that:D) The only thing I did was add more garlic and ancho chiles don't add heat like a jalapeno would they add a smoky flavor. I served this dish with mash potatoes.


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  • Calories
  • 616 kcal
  • 31%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 82.9 g
  • 27%
  • Cholesterol
  • 86 mg
  • 29%
  • Fat
  • 18.4 g
  • 28%
  • Fiber
  • 12.8 g
  • 51%
  • Protein
  • 39.1 g
  • 78%
  • Sodium
  • 1135 mg
  • 45%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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