18 Jul 2024
Wintry Treat: Yuletide Lamb Shanks
Community Expat Cookbook

Wintry Treat: Yuletide Lamb Shanks

Drawing inspiration from the Christmas focus on the birth of the Lamb of God as Saviour to the world – an act remembered by believers with the Lord’s Supper, this hearty recipe of luxurious layers of flavour crafts together ingredients symbolic of these traditions with culinary influences rooted in different continents – the perfect yuletide mains in wintry Stockholm for sharing peace, love, joy and good will with friends and family the world over.


3 lamb shanks, coated all over with plain flour

3 large red onions, peeled and each segmented into 8

2 large potatoes, cut into 2.5 cm sided cubes

3 large carrots, cut into 2.5 cm thick discs

850 ml water

250 ml red wine

3 cubes beef stock

25 g balacan*

2 tsp harissa**

4 dried bay leaves

1 tsp ground lemon myrtle leaves***

2 tsp dried bouquet garni

1 tsp za’atar****

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp dried rose petals, grounded

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried tarragon

1 grapefruit, 8 large pieces of peel set aside

2 tbsp tomato ketchup


2-4 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in a little water

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

3 g fresh coriander, leaves only



* A fermented shrimp paste used in South East Asian and Southern Chinese cooking.

** A Maghrebi hot chilli pepper paste common in Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and Syria.

*** A subtropical rainforest native in Queensland, Australia used by Aboriginals for cooking.

****A blend of Middle Eastern herbs with roots in Levantine cuisine.


  1. Put in cast iron pot flour-coated shanks, onions, harissa, balacan, dried herbs and spices, grapefruit peel, ketchup, beef stock, water and wine.
  2. Bring to boil covered over a high flame; gently simmering covered for 1.5 hours; adding in potatoes and carrots when 30 minutes of cooking is left.
  3. With pot still simmering, season with salt to taste; thickening gravy with dissolved cornstarch.
  4. Remove bay leaves and grapefruit peels; adding peas to warm through in 30 to 45 seconds.
  5. To serve with warmed baguette, place shank on dinner plate; heaping on veg and gravy and garnishing with coriander.

Serves 3


Photo credit: Frank Shen

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