See also Beef Massaman. Lamb massaman curry is a truly luxurious dish. Lamb Shanks cooked in a massaman sauce become meltingly tender and the spices blend so harmoniously with the lamb it truly is a perfect match. This is an oven-cooked dish requiring around 3 hours cooking time. If you are thinking of using a slow cooker, then please check out this link as the recipe would need to be adapted. This is not an everyday curry so personally, I would stick with the oven for the best results.
See the recipe notes below for full details but for 3 lamb shanks I’m using one pouch of massaman paste, 1 can of coconut milk, and around 300g of small potatoes. A small handful of peanuts, you can either shell them or if you only have salted peanuts you can rinse off the salt and leave to dry on kitchen towels. Of course, if you have raw peanuts you can pan roast them for a few minutes. You will also need an onion if you want to garnish it as in the above picture. The pastes are complete but it is always a good idea to have a little lime juice to hand to adjust sweetness, if needed, to your personal taste at the end of cooking. You also adjust saltiness by adding a little more fish sauce or salt if required.
Make sure you’re using the “right” type of coconut milk as it will make or break this or any other coconut-based curry. Quick guide here, Coconut Milk Summary,or if you would like to see the difference between different brands of coconut milk the full article is here, Cooking Thai Curry with Coconut Milk.
Don’t peel the potatoes. Just wash and rub dry. Halve them and cook in vegetable oil until nicely browned. Remove and set aside. Fry the thinly sliced onion (if used) and drain and dry on kitchen paper. Add the lamb shanks to the oil and cook on all sides until nicely browned.
Place lamb shanks in a casserole and surround with the potatoes, some of the fried onion, and peanuts. Heat the massaman sauce in a pan and add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Pour onto the lamb and potatoes. Top up with water if needed until the meat and potatoes are covered.
Cover and cook for around 3 hours at 150C. Check on it around halfway to make sure the liquid is not evaporating too fast which can happen if the casserole lid is not a good fit. At the end of cooking time check meat is tender, also that the potatoes are cooked correctly, if not then put back in the oven for another 30 minutes. Stir the pan to mix in any oil that may have separated or skim off some oil if there is too much. Let the lamb rest in the covered casserole pot for 10 minutes before serving. Note, this can be cooked on the hob under a very low heat but you will have to check and stir from time to time to prevent sticking. I find that the oven works better for me.
Lamb massaman curry is a truly luxurious dish. Lamb Shanks cooked in a massaman sauce become meltingly tender and the spices blend so harmoniously with the lamb it truly is a perfect match. This is an oven cooked dish requiring around 3 hours cooking time. If you are thinking of using a slow cooker, then please check out this link as the recipe would need to be adapted. This is not an everyday curry so personally, I would stick with the oven for best results.
Wash and dry the potatoes, don’t peel them. Halve them and sauté in vegetable oil until they are browned remove from the pan and reserve.
Fry the thinly sliced onion and drain and dry on kitchen paper and reserve.
Dry fry the peanuts until nicely browned. Add these to the potatoes but reserve a small amount to be scattered onto the lamb before serving.
Add the lamb shanks to the pan and cook them on all sides turning until nicely browned.
Place the lamb shanks in a casserole dish, add the potatoes and half of the fried onion and most of the peanuts.
Heat the Massaman paste in a pan and add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
Pour the mixture onto the lamb and potatoes and top up with water if needed until the meat and potatoes are covered.
Cover and cook for around 3 Hours at 150°C. Halfway through, check to see that the liquid is not evaporating too fast which can happen if the casserole is not a good fit.
At the end of the cooking time check that the meat is tender and the potatoes are cooked.
If there is too much oil separated you can skim it off if you wish. Alternatively stir to incorporate into the sauce.
Taste the sauce and if you find it too sweet adjust with some freshly squeezed lime juice.
Let the lamb rest in the covered dish for around 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with the remaining fried onion and peanuts.
Serve with Thai Jasmine rice.
As always using the “right” type of coconut milk is a game-changer. See here.
This recipe is based around medium-sized lamb shanks at about 350 g each. Cooking times remain the same for smaller or larger shanks because they are cooked in liquid instead of being roasted.
If you find yourself with too much sauce, then keep the lamb warm under foil and reduce the sauce in the pan. Similarly, you can add water to the sauce and heat it if too much has evaporated.
If you wish to scale the recipe up and don’t have a big enough casserole dish then this can be cooked in a roasting tray tightly covered with foil.
This can definitely be cooked ahead if you wish, or even the day before. To reheat, cover and heat in the oven at 160°C for around 30 minutes. Oven temperatures vary so check it is properly warmed up before serving.