Lamb shanks with tomatoes and chickpeas

Ray McVinnie has been a chef for many years, and once ran the highly successful and elite eating establishment, Vinnies.

Recently he has been seen on the box as a celebrity judge on Masterchef NZ. So it’s without doubt that he has a great pedigree for cooking fine food.

And since lamb shanks are such a popular winter food, albeit much more expensive than they used to be, I thought this is a timely recipe. It comes from Ray McVinnie’s recipe book Eat, with wonderful photographs by Kieran Scott. As Ray says in the foreword to the recipe this dish leans towards the Spanish palate with the smoked paprika and chickpeas. Since the shanks are boned the meal is more of a casserole than large meat bones on a bed of vegetables.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sweet Spanish smoked paprika
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 8 lamb shanks, boned. This is simple to do, just slice down one side of the bone then cut the meat off in one piece, or get your butcher to do it.
  • 250 ml liquid beef stock
  • 125 ml red wine
  • 400 g can of italian tomatoes, mashed
  • 2 x 300g cans chickpeas, drained, washed and drained again
  • 75 g currants
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Maldon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F). Put all the ingredients into a deep casserole and mix well. Cover tightly and bake for 2 hours or until the lamb is falling apart. Remove from the oven, lift the lid and skim the fat from the top of the dish.

Serve with crusty bread, and a green salad, or, as we had it, with couscous.

This is a delicious meal, although shanks is a ‘strong’ meat and can be a little gamey in texture. Ray suggests as an alternative using 400g diced pork shoulder or loin, 6 chicken drumsticks and 4 chopped bacon rashers served with steamed rice.

Lamb shanks by Ray McVinnie - image by Skinny
Lamb shanks by Ray McVinnie - image by Skinny

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