Chilli and Sichuan peppercorns are tongue-numbingly evident in these spicy Sichuan-style lamb shanks.






Skill level

Average: 2.3 (26 votes)


  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 celery stalks, 1 halved lengthwise, 1 thinly sliced
  • 2 long red chillies, 1 halved lengthwise, 1 thinly sliced
  • 2 leeks, 1 quartered, 1 thinly sliced
  • 75 g (⅓ cup) black bean and garlic sauce
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 L beef stock
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve

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.


Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Season lamb with salt and pepper, then cook, turning, for 5 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Add halved celery, halved chilli and quartered leek to pan. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes until lightly coloured. Add 3 tbsp black bean and garlic sauce, 1 tsp cumin, beef stock and 500 ml water. Bring to the boil. Return lamb to pan with Sichuan peppercorns.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 2 hours or until lamb is meltingly tender. Remove pan from heat. Set aside.

Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining celery, chilli, leek, black bean sauce and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until leeks are softened. Season.

Remove lamb from cooking liquid. Serve drizzled with a little liquid, and topped with stir-fried vegetables and parsley.


• Sichuan peppercorns are available from Asian food shops.



Photography Alan Benson.


As seen in Feast magazine, February 2014, Issue 28. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.