Here’s Selin Kiazim's inspiration for this recipe: “This slow-cooked lamb is what my mum always cooks for occasion dinners. Lamb is a family favourite and what makes this quintessentially Cypriot is the use of aromatic wild oregano, which we would always bring loads back of on trips to Cyprus.”

Try our recipe for homemade mint sauce to accompany your roast lamb.


  • 6 lamb shanks
  • 2 large onions, each cut into 4 thick slices
  • 2 tbsp wild dried oregano or dried oregano
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 6 medium Cyprus potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2 (see notes below)
  • 6 carrots, cut in 1/2 lengthways
  • 3 tomatoes, each cut into 3 thick slices
  • 1 heaped tbsp mild red pepper paste, (see notes below)


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Put the lamb, onions, oregano, bay leaves, potatoes, carrots and tomatoes into a large, deep roasting tray with plenty of seasoning, mix well then spread evenly.

  • STEP 2

    Whisk the pepper paste into 480ml of hot water and pour into the tray. You want just enough liquid to cover the bottom of the tray so add a little extra if necessary.

  • STEP 3

    Cover the tray with foil and roast for 2 hours. Remove the foil and put back into the oven for 30-40 minutes to colour and crisp the top of the lamb a little.

Cyprus potatoes have a firm yellow flesh and a buttery flavour. Find them in greengrocers and some supermarkets, or use Desirée potatoes instead. Mild red pepper paste is a Turkish storecupboard staple. Look for the Öncü brand, one of the most popular and widely available, in Turkish grocers and online at

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