Sophie Conran's lamb shanks with caramelised onion recipe

(29 ratings) has lots of quick and easy food recipes like Sophie Conran's lamb shanks with caramelised onion. Find out more recipes at


This rich, sweet and tender dish is simple to make - and rather satisfying to serve!


  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 2 large onions peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 5 cloves
  • ½ tsp each ground turmeric, nutmeg, cumin and coriander
  • 750ml/11/4 pints lamb or chicken stock
  • 1 handful each dried apricots, prunes, jumbo sultanas and pine nuts
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper




  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas Mark 2.
  2. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large pot with a lid, over a high heat. Brown the shanks on all sides, then put aside on a plate.
  3. Reduce the heat and melt the butter in the pan. Gently fry the onions for about 20 minutes until soft and translucent. Stir in the sugar, vinegar and spices and continue frying for 5-10 minutes, until nicely caramelised.
  4. Stir in the stock, dried fruit and pine nuts. Nestle the shanks into the mixture on their sides and pop into the oven for 2½ hours, turning the shanks halfway through the cooking. Serve with plain basmati rice tossed with plenty of chopped dill, and a crunchy salad.

Trusted, informative, and empathetic – GoodToKnow is the ultimate online destination for mums. Established in 2007, our 15-year-strong archive of content includes more than 18,000 articles, 1,500 how-to videos, and 7,000 recipes.