Lamb Shank with Eggplant and Yogurt

This recipe is best when cooked sous-vide, but it is also great to prepare in the oven. The two sauces are what take it over the top. Even if you don’t like lamb or you don’t cook sous-vide this post is worth reading, as the delicious yogurt sauce will also work with other dishes. It paired as well with the lamb as it did with the roasted eggplant.

Lamb shanks are amazing when cooked sous-vide for 48 hours at 62ºC/144ºF. They are pink, juicy, and very tender. This recipe will work when cooked in the oven, but the shanks will have a traditional braised texture. (Instructions for cooking in the oven are included in the recipe.) This time around, I remembered to take a photo of the inside so you can see for yourself how pink it is. After preparing lamb shanks plain with just a bit of thyme as well as in a delicious Italian sauce and served with asparagus, I thought it would be nice to create something completely different. First I marinated and then cooked the lamb in a sauce made with various dried chile peppers (a kind gift from REMCooks, by now replenished by my own purchases), and then I served it with roasted eggplant, a delicious yogurt sauce, and rice. I had some cherry tomatoes that I roasted along with the eggplant. They looked nice on the rice, but didn’t really add anything to the rest of the dish. The combination of the earthy peppers with just a tiny bit of heat and smokiness and the freshness of the yogurt sauce was marvelous. If you like more heat, use hotter types of chiles such as New Mexico Extra Hot or Pasilla Negro. Although of course this dish requires some planning because of the 48-hour cooking time, it is not a lot of work at all and relatively easy to make. Here’s what I did — please note that not all of the ingredients are shown in the ingredient shots as I was making this up along the way…


For 2 servings

For the lamb

2 lamb shanks

125 ml (1/2 cup) Greek yogurt

1 ancho chile

1 guajillo chile

1 New Mexico hot chile

1 chipotle

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp honey

1/2 tsp salt

some fresh cilantro

juice of 1/2 lime

For the eggplant

1 eggplant

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil


For the yogurt sauce

125 ml (1/2 cup) Greek yogurt

1 tsp ground fenugreek seeds

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 clove garlic

1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro

1 tsp honey

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

For serving

white rice

cherry tomatoes (optional)


Soak the chiles in hot water for about 10 minutes.

Remove the seeds and stems from the chiles.

Combine the chiles in the blender with the yogurt, cilantro, oregano, cumin, salt, and honey. Process until smooth.

Vacuum seal the lamb shanks with the yogurt mixture. Marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

After marinating, cook sous-vide for 48 hours at 62ºC/144ºF. Alternatively, you could cook them in the oven. 2 1/2 hours at 200ºC/400ºF should do the trick, or longer at a lower temperature. Put them in an oven-proof dish with the marinade, and baste with the marinade now and then.

About 45 minutes before you would like to serve, preheat the oven to 225ºC/450ºF. Cut the eggplant into cubes (peeling the eggplant first is optional). Toss the eggplant with the olive oil. Arrange the eggplant on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Roast for about half an hour at 225ºC/450ºF until the eggplant is cooked and slightly golden. Add the cherry tomatoes, if using, for the last 15 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, prepare the yogurt sauce. Put the yogurt in a bowl. Crush the garlic and add it to the yogurt.

Add the other ingredients for the yogurt sauce.

Stir to mix. Taste and adjust the sauce to your liking by adding more of any of the ingredients.

Take the lamb out of the sous-vide about 10 minutes before the eggplant is done.

Set the lamb shanks aside and put the sauce in a non-stick pan. Bring it to a boil and reduce it over medium heat until it is no longer watery.

Add a bit of freshly squeezed lime juice to freshen up the sauce.

Coat the lamb shanks with the sauce and keep them warm over low heat until the eggplant is done.

Serve the lamb with the chile sauce, the eggplant, rice, and yogurt sauce.


Cantucci or cantuccini are officially called biscotti di Prato. Whatever you call them, the combination of cantuccini with vin santo is one of the most famous and most delicious desserts from Tuscany. Homemade cantuccini are much better than store-bought, as they are much more crunchy and brittle without breaking your teeth on them (as is often the case with store-bought).


16 thoughts on “Lamb Shank with Eggplant and Yogurt

    1. Thanks, Conor. This recipe is right up your alley (and in fact it’s your use of yogurt with lamb that convinced me to try it). The only time I ever did lamb shanks in the oven was (ahem) a Jamie Oliver recipe as per the time and temperature indicated. It was pretty tasty.


      1. Mr. Oliver cooks for his audience. Not many are interested in putting the dinner on to cook before they have breakfast. Present company excepted, given that you take a few days to do yours!


  1. My favourite meat: lamb; my favourite vegetable: eggplant . . . and there is rice and yogurt around every day 🙂 ! Have not used chillies like this so an interesting trial to come. Except the rice will be brown [do not touch white usually altho’ I eat it 3-4 times a week!] and the shanks will go into the oven slow and low as Conor’s . . . . most lamb I like pink, shanks falling off the bone and well done . . .


  2. I love lamb shanks, even more when cooked long and slow! An alternative to the “sous vide” could be either slow oven cooking but also in a pot ful of your delicious yoghurt sauce with added water and leave it on the stove for around 3 to 4hrs.
    Brilliant recipe, well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It would be good to note up front on this recipe that it is a 3 day affair. 24 hours to marinade and 48 hours to sous vide. (3 days may be a short or long ‘affair’ depending on one’s viewpoint – but when one is staring hungrily at two shanks it suddenly seems long.)

    But tomorrow is Monday – and so Thursday shall be the culmination of this ambrosial delight!

    Lamb shanks in Australia at this time of year are somewhat smaller than what you have photographed.

    Is there an email address to which I could send some comments along the way? I confess to being nervous of showing my shanks to the wider world!


    1. Good point, I could be more clear about how long it takes all together. Trust me, it is worth it.
      For lamb shanks in my experience the time and temperature work for all sizes. With cuts like neck of lamb I did notice that meat from younger (smaller) animals is tender in 24 hours, whereas the older (larger) animals take 48. I’ll send you a note with my e-mail.


  4. Any comment from Australian/Sydney readers about stores that stock dried chilies as used in this recipe?
    Lots of online offerings but would prefer to look at what I am purchasing.
    Appreciate any help.


  5. The lamb was moist and with great flavor. With the contrast in flavor of the sauces and the subtle crunch of the eggplant it all made a great dinner.

    Ok – I cheated a little on the chilies and so the color of the marinade was a little different.

    Definitely a recipe worth trying.


    1. Great to hear, thanks for letting me know!
      A slightly different is marinating in my fridge as I write this — using neck of lamb rather than shank. It will be cooked for only 24 hours at only 57C/135F.


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