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Braised Lamb Shanks in Cranberry

Lamb shanks slowly braised with cranberries and black cardamom. Tender, tangy, smoky and perfect for a dinner party.
Course Entree, Soups & Stews
Cuisine Experimental, North African
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Lamb
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb


  • 3 pounds lamb shanks
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds whole
  • 10 cloves
  • 2 pods cardamom black
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 ginger " knob of (grated)
  • 2 onions minced
  • 3 tablespoons evaporated cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (less if you use regular salt)
  • 12 oz cranberries fresh bags


  1. Generously salt and pepper the lamb shanks. Heat a large heavy bottomed pot with a lid on medium high heat until very hot, then add a splash of oil. Sear the shanks until golden brown on all sides. Turn down the heat if the oil starts smoking. When the shanks are browned, transfer them to a plate.
  2. Add the cumin, cloves and black cardamom and swirl in the oil until you start to hear them pop. Add the garlic, ginger, onions, sugar, and salt and fry until soft and very fragrant. Add the cranberries, stir together, then nestle the lamb shanks into the cranberries and onions. Turn the heat down to low and cover with a tight fitting lid. Let this braise for 2-3 hours or until the meat easily pulls off the bone with a fork.
  3. Serve with rice.