Slow Cooked Lamb with Dates and Chickpea Gremolata

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Prep time


Cooking time


Cook Style

Stovetop to Oven

Skill Level


The Medjool dates added to this slow cooked lamb dish add a glorious deep sweetness to the sauce. Dates work so well with lamb and spices and in this slow cooked recipe they swell to plump little treasures delightfully dotted throughout the dish. I always make sure when I serve up the dish that I evenly distribute the dates across the plates. They are the star players.


  • Shanks
  • 4 x 4 lamb shanks

  • 2 Tbsp 2 olive oil

  • 2 Tbsp 2 tomato paste

  • 1 large 1 carrot, peeled and diced .5cm

  • 1 large 1 onion, finely diced

  • 1 cup 1 celery, finely diced

  • 1 Tbsp 1 cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp 1 turmeric, ground

  • 1 tsp 1 sumac, ground

  • 2 tsp 2 coriander, ground

  • 10 baby 10 potatoes, halved

  • 500 ml 500 vegetable or chicken stock

  • 1 tin 1 chopped tomatoes

  • 12 12 Natural Delight Medjool Dates whole

  • Chickpea Gremolata
  • 1 cup 1 chickpeas, cooked and cooled

  • 1 1 lemon juice and zest

  • 3 Tbsp 3 extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 italian parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 clove 1 garlic, crushed

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 160° forced
  • Heat a large ovenproof pan to medium high.
  • Roll the lamb shanks through 1 tbsp olive oil then seal on all sides in the pan until well caramelised. Remove and set aside.
  • Add 2 Tbsp oil to the pan along with carrot, celery and onion and cook stirring for five minutes until the vegetables have started to soften and the onion caramelise.
  • Add spices and toss through the onion mix.
  • Add in potatoes, stock and tomato and mix to combine.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  • Add the lamb back into the pan and nestle into the sauce before finishing with the dates.
  • Place a tight-fitting lid on the pan and bake in the oven for two to three hours or until the lamb is falling away from the bone.
  • Meanwhile combine all gremolata ingredients in a bowl, toss and season to taste.
  • Serve the lamb scattered with the gremolata.

Cooking Notes

  • Serve the shanks on steamed rice or couscous if you’d like extra carbohydrates.
  • You can cook this dish on the cooktop over very low heat if you don’t have an ovenproof dish.
  • If you wanted to remove the lamb bones, leaving only the meat, you could use the wet dish as a base to create a filo top pie in the same vein as the Chicken and Date Filo Pie (link here)
  • Swap – Potatoes for diced sweet potato if you prefer.

Author: Codesquad