The best lamb I ever had was in Anogia, Crete. Here, lamb is slowed cooked for hours outside in open barbecue ovens. The streets in Anogia have a permanent aroma of lamb in the air to welcome you. This is the lamb recipe I'll be making come Christmas time.






Skill level

Average: 2.7 (88 votes)


  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp ground hot paprika
  • 3 ½ cups plain Greek-style yoghurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges, to garnish

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 2 hours or overnight

The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Place the coriander, cumin and fennel in mortar and pestle. Pound well. Add the paprika.

In a bowl, place the spices, yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well. Reserve ½ cup of the marinade in the fridge to serve with the lamb.

Place the lamb shanks in a deep dish. Season with salt and cracked pepper. Pour the yoghurt mixture over the lamb shanks to coat.

Place the lamb in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight to marinate. Turn the lamb at least a couple of times during marinating.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place lamb in a baking tray and cook for 1–1½ hours until cooked and golden.

Serve with the reserved yoghurt marinade and lemon wedges.

Text © 2012 Maria Benardis