Spicy lamb shanks with Quince

Photographer: Kurt

Every autumn around Easter time, I always feel the pull of home, the embrace of family and the welcome warmth of a roaring log fire. From my Fathers kitchen window the old twisted quince tree brightens the shaded days with its vibrant yellow fruit weighing heavily on its limbs.  We always manage to harvest at least 6 bags full of fruit every year without fail, testament to this ancient species longevity. Its unique highly perfumed flavour complements the soft succulent deeply coloured rich meat of a slow cooked shank. What better way to spend a late autumn night than curled up in front of the fire enjoying this warming dish.


1 tbsp olive oil
6 lamb shanks
1 tbsp of butter
2 large onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 tbsp of lemon zest
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1 pinch of saffron strands
2 tbsp tomato purée
500ml of lamb of stock
4 quinces, peeled, cored and quartered


1. In a large heavy based fry pan, heat oil and brown lamb shanks, set aside.
2. Set oven to bake at a temperature of 160 degrees C.
3. Heat butter in a large oven proof casserole dish, add the onions cook till transparent then add garlic, lemon zest, spices and saffron. Fry for a few minutes then add tomato puree, and stock.
4. Add the shanks back to the casserole dish, squeeze the quince slices into the dish and simmer for a few minutes, before covering and place in the oven for 3 hours.
5. Remove the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes.
6. If required remove Lamb and quince from the dish and further reduce the cooking liquor to make a thick rich gravy. Add lamb and quince back to the gravy to serve.