A veal or lamb shank on a plate with gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and baby onions

Chile-Spiked Lamb Shanks


Lamb braised shank 300x200 - Chile-Spiked Lamb Shanks


You’ll love the flavours in this dish – a sweet-and-sour combination with a hint of heat. Lamb is a nutritious meat that is loaded with protein, potassium, vitamin B12, zinc and iron. Traditionally paired with thyme, rosemary, mint or oregano, this recipe brings in some kick with chile.


One of the many amazing recipes from my book The Complete Leaky Gut Health & Diet Guide

Chile-Spiked Lamb Shanks

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 Tbsp clarified butter, divided
  • 4 large lamb shanks, patted dry. See tips about 4 lbs/2 kg
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium stalks of celery, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups ready-to-use chicken stock gluten-free if needed
  • 2-4 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley (optional).


  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter over medium-high heat. Add lamb, in batches, and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes per patch. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware as completed. Drain of fat from pan.

  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining butter to pan. Add onions, carrots and celery to pan and cook, stirring, until carrots are soft, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, peppercorns, and sea salt and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine, bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, scrapping up brown bits from bottom of pan. Add coconut sugar and vinegar and stir well.

  3. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Stir in broth. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 5 hours, until meat is falling off the bone. Stir in jalapenos to taste and cook on High for 15 minutes, until flavours meld. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Recipe Notes


  1. You can halve this recipe, but be sure to use a small (2-3 1/2 quart) slow cooker.
  2. Whether you cook the lamb shanks whole or halved or have them cut into pieces is a matter of preference. However, if the shanks are left whole, you will be able to serve only four people - each will receive one large shank.
  3. For a more sophisticated version, after the dish has finished cooking, transfer the lamb to a deep platter and keep warm. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced by a third, about 10 minutes.  Puree using an immersion blender. Pour over shanks and garnish liberally with parsley, if desired.
  4. This recipe can be partially prepared ahead of time. Complete step 2. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you're ready to cook, complete the recipe.

The Complete Leaky Gut Health & Diet Book available at Chapters and Indigo in Canada, and Barnes & Noble in the US. Of course you can also order it on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com today!!


Doug Cook RDN is a Toronto based integrative and functional nutritionist and dietitian with a focus on digestive, gut, mental health.  Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.