Saturday, September 26, 2020

Lamb Shank Gouvedge

Patience is vital when making Gouvedge – at least the way we make it. It takes time to prep and time to cook. So, if it’s Gouvedge you wish to serve this autumn and winter season, start planning now. 

We started planning weeks ago by ordering lamb shanks from our local source – Fox Trot Farm.

Now that it’s cooled-down a bit we forged ahead with our plan to make this heart-warming, tummy-satisfying dish - and - we're glad we did! 

Gouvedge ready to serve with plain yogurt and crusty bread!

Lamb Shank Gouvedge
Serves 6


4 meaty lamb shanks, trimmed of fat
Lamb broth (See Day 1 preparation for details)
1-6 oz. can tomato paste
1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes with the liquid, optional
1 lb. fresh green beans, end trimmed, cut into 2” pieces
1 large or 2 medium zucchini, cut into large chunks
1 large or 2 medium eggplants, cut into cubes
1 lb. okra, optional (If okra is large, cut it into smaller pieces)
2 medium red or orange peppers, seeds removed, and cut into chunks
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
A small bunch of Italian flat-leaf parsley, washed
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Note: Measure all - or some - of the following seasonings according to your taste: Dried oregano, salt, black pepper, paprika, Aleppo pepper, dash of cayenne pepper, ground coriander seeds, allspice, etc.

Day One Preparation:

Place the trimmed lamb shanks in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, skimming any residue from the surface during the cooking process. Reduce temperature to medium-low; place a cover, tilted, on the pot. Cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until the meat is tender enough to easily be removed from the bones. Periodically check the water level; do not let it all evaporate. Add more as needed. You should end up with at least 3 cups of broth.

While the lamb cooks, cut all of the vegetables as noted above.

Gouvedge ingredients lined up and (almost) ready to use.

Remove shanks from the liquid; place in a container, cover and refrigerate. 
Strain the liquid from the pot; discard any unwanted particles. Place strained broth in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Cooked, cooled lamb shanks and chilled broth with layer of fat on top.

Special Note: Check the ends of the bones for what Dikranagerdsis call ,'dzoodz', or bone marrow. Scoop it from the open end of the bone and eat it up!

Bone marrow from lamb shank

Day Two Preparation:

Remove meat from the bones and cut lamb into bite-sized pieces. Place meat in a bowl.
Remove and discard the layer of fat from the surface of the chilled, gelatinous lamb broth.

Congealed lamb broth

Using a large pot, sauté the onions and peppers in a few Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper as it cooks. 
Add the congealed broth.
Sautéed peppers, onions, garlic, and lamb broth

Add the tomato paste, stirring gently until paste is blended with the broth. Add lamb pieces.
Tomato paste and lamb pieces added

Add the prepared vegetables. Season with salt, pepper, and any combination of herbs and spices as listed, to suit your taste.

Vegetables, herbs and spices added

Cook, covered, on low heat, for about 45 min. to 1 hour. Stir occasionally, making sure the liquid hasn’t evaporated. Add water, if necessary.
Gouvedge ready to bake

Preheat the oven to 350°- 375° F (ovens vary). Lightly oil a 9” x 13” casserole dish. Evenly spread the lamb-vegetable mixture. Cover pan with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake an additional 45 minutes or until top begins to brown.

While gouvedge is baking, make rice or bulgur pilaf to serve as a side dish. A side of plain yogurt is always a welcome addition, too.

Crusty bread is required for dipping!


  1. Can I use beef broth for this recipe?

    1. Vicky, absolutely! Beef broth is a suitable substitute when lamb broth is unavailable.