Thai Style Massaman Lamb Shanks
Lamb shanks in massaman curry sauce

Thai Style Massaman Lamb Shanks

Total time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Lamb shanks in massaman curry sauce

Lamb shanks and Massaman curry were made for each other. This incredibly easy Thai-style recipe slow cooks them in the oven until the meat is falling off the bone, braised in a rich, coconut Massaman curry sauce.

This recipe is so ridiculously easy to make, just through everything in a baking dish, give it a good stir round to coat the meat and potatoes and bake for 2-3 hours taking the foil off for the last hour.

Lamb Shanks

lamb shanks on a slate platter

Lamb shanks are the lower part of the lamb’s leg. Shanks from the front legs are smaller and you will need one for each serving. Ones from the rear legs are much larger, you will probably only need 2-3.

I don’t know about you but my mouth is watering just writing about it, so we will probably be having Thai style massaman lamb shanks for dinner tomorrow night.

How About Using Lamb Shoulder?

I haven’t cooked lamb shoulder this way but it too needs slow cooking so would do really well. A Sunday roast Thai style, that would surprise the family, I think they may be in for a treat!

Massaman Paste

jar of massaman curry paste

Massaman paste is like Thai red curry paste but with additions inspired by trade with India and Malaysia. It has the added flavours of cinnamon, cardomom, coriander, cumin and curry powder.

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Lamb shanks in massaman curry sauce

Thai Style Massaman Lamb Shanks

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: 🇹🇭 Thai
Keyword: curry, lamb, massaman
Difficulty: Easy
Heat: 🌶 Mild
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 514kcal
Author: Nagi


  • 1.5 kg lamb shanks 5 small, 4 medium, 2 – 3 large
  • 115 g Massaman curry paste 1 can
  • 400 ml coconut milk full fat
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 1 onion halved then sliced 1cm / 1/3″ thick (brown, white, yellow)
  • 400 g small potatoes 2.5cm wide, halve if bigger
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 stick cinnamon

To Serve:

  • 1 ▢ Red chilli finely sliced (small = spicy, large = less spicy)
  • ▢ Coriander/cilantro
  • ▢ Steamed jasmine rice


  • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C fan).
  • Mix curry paste, coconut milk and stock in a baking dish, preferably glass or ceramic. Add the onion, potato, star anise, cinnamon and lamb.
  • Turn the shanks to coat in sauce, then cover with foil.
  • Bake in oven for 2 hours. Remove foil, bake for a further 1 hour (small shanks) or 1.5 hrs (medium to large shanks), turning lamb twice to brown evenly, until meat is so tender it can easily be teased apart with 2 forks.
  • Remove lamb onto a plate. Carefully skim any excess fat off the surface. Mix sauce in the baking dish – it should be reduced down to a syrupy thickness.
  • Serve lamb with sauce over jasmine rice, garnished with chilli and coriander. For a larger banquet, put the curry out on a platter to share!


Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g

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