Recipe for Lamb Shawarma – shanks slow-roasted until succulent and fall-off-the-bone tender

2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried, red chilli flakes
½ cup red wine
¾ cup weak meat stock
6 free-range lamb shanks, excess fat trimmed
2-3 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice, to finish

How to
For the marinade, place the garlic, olive oil and all the aromatics into a bowl. Stir to combine.

Pour the marinade over the meat and rub in. Massaging the marinade in by hand is the best way to do this.

Place the shanks in a non-metallic dish, cover and allow to marinate overnight in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Bring the lamb up to room temperature.

Transfer the lamb to a roasting tin. Season with salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Cover with foil and roast for 2 hours.

Turn the shanks over. Add the onions to the roasting tin and pour in the red wine and stock.

Cover with the foil and roast for a further 90 minutes. If the liquid reduces too rapidly, just add a little extra water.

Remove the foil and baste the meat with the pan juices.

Turn the oven temperature up to 200ºC and roast for a further 20-30 minutes.

Add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice, cover with foil and allow to rest for about 10-15 minutes before serving.

Recipe provided by Bibby’s Kitchen @ 36, a food blog by Dianne Bibby. For more details on monthly cooking classes hosted in Johannesburg, email

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