Skip to content


Lamb Shanks in Adobo

by Billie Jean Siddoway 06 Apr 2024 0 Comments

I grew up with the Serrano children at our ranch site in Egin. They loved spicy food and teased me for not being able to handle the pickled jalapeños served with their Sunday tamales. I still don't have much tolerance for spicy peppers. I keep my adobo sauce tame with ancho and New Mexico chilis. For those who like more spice, guajillo or pasilla peppers will give you the same flavor profile with medium heat, and you can add more heat with chile de arbol.


  • lamb shanks
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 4 dried ancho chilis
  • 4 dried New Mexico chilis (note: substitute dry or roasted guajillo chilis, pasilla peppers, or chile de arbol for more heat)
  • Water
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 small white onion, cut in half
  • 1 orange, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 4 whole cloves
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 cup lamb or chicken broth


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. 
  • Pat the lamb shanks dry with a paper towel and season with salt. Set aside.
  • Soak chili peppers in simmering water for 30 minutes to soften.
  • Take chili peppers from the water, reserving water for later. 
  • Remove seeds, stems, and veins from chili peppers. Discard seeds, stems, and veins.
  • Put chili peppers in a blender. Add oregano, cumin, cinnamon, garlic, and 1 cup of the reserved water. Blend thoroughly until smooth.
  • Heat 2 Tbs neutral oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Brown the shanks, two at a time, on all sides. Remove from heat.
  • Return all four shanks to the heavy pot. Add the blended chili peppers and onion halves. Stud the orange with the whole cloves and add them to the pot. Finally, add the apple cider vinegar, apple juice, and enough broth to cover ⅓ of the shanks. Use additional broth or water, as needed, to reach this amount.
  • Cover the pot with a lid or tightly wrapped foil. Transfer the shanks to the oven. Cook until tender, about 3 hours. Turn the shanks and baste them each hour. Add more broth or water if necessary. If desired, remove the lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking for a thicker sauce.
  • Remove and discard the onion and orange halves. Transfer the shanks to a platter and spoon sauce over the top, or serve shanks from the pot.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve with Spanish rice, polenta, or grilled corn. Shred for tacos.

Prev Post
Next Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

this is just a warning