April 6, 2023

Braised Curried American Lamb Shank with Yucca




Marinated American lamb chops with rosemary & garlic on a plate


  • 12 American Lamb shanks, whole
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 3 yellow onions, peeled, minced
  • 6 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled, finely minced
  • 1 head fresh garlic, peeled, minced
  • 3 jalapeños, seeded, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons coriander, ground
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1-1/2 quarts water or lamb stock
  • 3 cups yogurt, plain
  • 2 pounds yucca, peeled, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, red Garnett or regular orange
  • For garnish: Fresh mint, cut into narrow strips


Season the lamb with sea salt.  In a heavy-bottomed braising pan, heat the oil.  Brown lamb shanks deeply on all sides, turning occasionally.  Work in batches to avoid over-crowding the pan.  Once the lamb is caramelized on all sides, set aside. 

Blend the onions, ginger, garlic and jalapeños until a smooth consistency is reached.  In a separate container, mix the coriander, curry powder and cinnamon.  Set aside.

Using the same pan over medium heat, add the onion-garlic paste; allow to cook just until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.  Stir in spice mixture; simmer for an additional 20 seconds.  Add the water or lamb stock.  Increase heat to medium-high, bringing mixture to a boil; reduce to a simmer.  Temper the yogurt into the braising liquid by gradually whisking it in until combined with the sauce.

Return lamb shanks to the pan; cover and simmer very gently until the lamb is fork-tender, about 2 hours.  Check and stir frequently so as not to burn the pan.  Add the yucca and sweet potatoes during the last 15 minutes and cook until tender.

Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt.  Garnish with fresh mint.

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.
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