Lamb shanks with quinces and chickpeas

Lamb shanks with quince and chickpeas

I’m in Motherland 1 (NZ) at the moment for family stuff, with Bro and I flying into Auckland yesterday. The parents picked us up from the airport, and it wasn’t long before the fussing started.

“Did you bring a coat?

It’s really cold here.

Where’s your coat?

No, it’s really cold. Why didn’t you bring a coat?” (This last question to Bro – I did bring my coat, cutting out 200% of the fussing.)

Lamb shanks with quince and chickpeas

Truthfully, it’s not much colder in Auckland right now than it has been in Melbourne the past week, not that the parents want to hear that! It’s good stew and casserole weather in both places.

Here’s a good winter dish I made last weekend. I saw quinces for cheap at the market, and found lamb shanks for cheapish (as cheap as lamb shanks get nowadays) at the butcher. I didn’t have plans for either, until I got home and decided to combine them into a dish.

Lamb shanks with quince and chickpeas

I’ve never cooked with quinces before, so it was a bit of an experiment and was another of my “dump in the pressure cooker” things. The quinces went in for the last five minutes of cooking because I didn’t want them to turn into mush. They were cooked enough to be soft but still retained their shape.

They gave the stew a sour / fruity aspect, though I actually thought they’d be a bit sweeter. It was an interesting stew. It didn’t quite turn out the way I was expecting it to be in my head to be honest. It wasn’t bad, just different to my expectations. Totally worth the experiment, but next time a sweeter fruit may make it’s way into the pot instead of quinces.

Lamb shanks with quinces and chickpeas

Rating: 31

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Lamb shanks with quinces and chickpeas


  • 4 lamb shanks (about a kilo)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander, washed and chopped
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 500g quinces, washed and sliced into chunks, core and seeds removed
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed


  1. Brown the lamb shanks on all sides in a frying pan.
  2. In a pressure cooker, add the lamb shanks, onion, garlic, spices, coriander, water and salt.
  3. Set the pressure cooker on high pressure and cook for 35 minutes.
  4. Release pressure and add the quinces. Return the pressure cooker to high pressure and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Release pressure, and using a slotted spoon remove the shanks and quinces. Set aside.
  6. With the lid open, boil the sauce (not under pressure) for another 5 minutes or so to reduce. Add some cornflour mixed to a slurry in water if you'd like to thicken the sauce. Add the chickpeas for the last minute to warm through.
  7. Add the shanks and quinces back to the sauce and serve.