Braised Lamb Shanks with Kabocha Squash

Braised Lamb Shanks and Kabocha Squash | Black Girl Chef's Whites


This goes into the “Big Bowl of Comfort” category. Braised Lamb Shanks with Kabocha Squash melts in your mouth, warms your belly and fills you with a sense of well being and love. Isn’t that what comfort food is supposed to do?  Yes, that may be pure hyperbole, but this really is a lovely dish.

Cooking the shanks low and slow ensures that the meat literally falls off the bone when done. Marinating the shanks in warming spices and aromatics for 24 to 48 hours ensures the flavor is deep and rich.

Kabocha squash is widely available in grocery stores now. My absolute favorite winter squash, kabocha is so versatile to cook. Kabocha can be steamed, baked, roasted, stuffed, fried in tempura batter, made into soup, used in a stew. The uses are myriad, and the flavor and texture are like a cross between a potato and a pumpkin.  If you cannot find a kabocha squash, ask your produce manager to order them. You can substitute with another winter squash, such as acorn or butternut squash.


Braised Lamb Shanks and Kabocha Squash | Black Girl Chef's Whites


Braised Lamb Shanks with Kabocha Squash
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 lamb shanks, trimmed
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 3 cans (14.5 oz) low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 pounds Kabocha squash, peeled cut into 1 inch cubes
  1. Place the lamb shanks into a resealable plastic bag.
  2. In a small bowl combine the onion, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, cumin, coriander, fennel, cinnamon and Aleppo pepper.
  3. Rub the marinade into the lamb shanks, seal the bag and marinate the lamb for a minimum of 24 hours up to 48 hours.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy braising pot or Dutch oven.
  5. Remove the lamb shanks from the marinade, reserving the onions and garlic.
  6. Over medium high heat brown the lamb shanks on all sides.
  7. Remove the shanks and reserve on a plate.
  8. Add the reserved marinated onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, cook for 3-4 minutes.
  9. Add the chicken broth, stirring to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
  10. Return the shanks to the pot.
  11. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover the pot.
  12. Cook for 2 hours, checking the liquid level on occasion.
  13. Stir in the squash.
  14. If needed, add more water or broth to the pot to ensure the squash has enough liquid to cook.
  15. Cover the pot, cook an additional 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender.


**Have your butcher trim the lamb shanks of any extra fat and silver skin.


Disclosure: Melissa’s Produce sent the Kabocha Squash for recipe development.

Winter Squash Recipes Perfect for the Thanksgiving Table

So. . . good things have been coming my way lately. I feel very lucky, though I have worked long and hard to get here.  Now, along with my being a contributor to Zester Daily I have become a contributor to!

I hear you all saying “Yeah and what does that have to do with me?” It means more original recipes and food related posts from me, and more recipes from some of the best food blogs on the web!  Win-win, if you ask me.

My first post on is just in time for Thanksgiving and features recipes some great blogs, including this one of course.  “7 Alternatives to Pumpkin Everything or Enough with the Pumpkin Already” has recipes that will fit perfectly on your Thanksgiving table, whether you are vegetarian or an omnivore.


Spiced Roasted Winter Vegetables
Spiced Roasted Winter Vegetables

Slow Cooker Thai Green Curry

Slow Cooker Thai Green Curry | Black Girl Chef's Whites

This is a big bowl of comfort. There are few things better than a stew of some sort, dense with vegetables and meat, warming you from the inside out.

Although stews are considered winter fare, I enjoy them year round. Especially when made in the slow cooker, because it does not make my kitchen hot and steamy in the summer.

Usually I develop all the recipes you see on this blog. Today’s recipe, while not a straight out copy, is more than influenced by this Pressure Cooker Thai Green Curry I found on

I used a container of Ironman Spinach Beet Salad that I received a sample of from Cut ‘N Clean Greens. You can use almost any type of dark leafy green in this stew, from spinach to kale.

The flavors meld so beautifully in this curry, the sweet squash, bitter greens and eggplant, creamy coconut milk infused broth. The chicken so tender it melts in your mouth.

A big bowl of comfort.


Slow Cooker Thai Green Curry | Black Girl Chef's Whites

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Kale

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Kale | Black Girl Chef's Whites



Kabocha squash, also known as Japanese pumpkin, is my favorite winter squash. Ever since they became readily available in local supermarkets I have been enjoying them.

But as much as I love them, it took my family a minute to jump on the kabocha bandwagon.


One Thanksgiving, about five or six years ago, I decided to add a kabocha squash recipe to my dinner. Every year I used to cook Thanksgiving dinner for my family and extended family. This is usually very traditional fare, featuring turkey, dressing, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, green salad, maybe a Jell-O mold fixed by my mother, and rolls. My sister would always make the candied yams and sweet potato pie, and bring them over.

Interested in bringing slightly healthier fare to my Thanksgiving table, I wanted another option to balance the buttery sugary overload of the candied yams.


To find out my family’s reaction to my kabocha squash recipe, and to get the recipe for Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Kale please click here.

This soup would be a stand out on your holiday table, or just may become a staple on your dinner table.


Spiced Roasted Winter Vegetables


The holidays are fast approaching, and I am gathering my recipes for the Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts.  Thanksgiving is my holiday in the family, and for the past few years I have been introducing new ingredients and styles of cooking to the traditional family recipes.

When you are a culinary school graduate you are expected to produce a fabulous spread, but with my family it needed to be fabulous, but what they were used to.  Roast turkey, candied yams, macaroni and cheese (which I still make, but my version) cornbread dressing, collard greens, and sweet potato pie. My sister Laurice still does the candied yams and sweet potato pie, but the other items have slowly been tweaked by me.  I began serving a lower fat roasted sweet potato, which has evolved to include other vegetables.  Instead of collard greens boiled up with a ham hock, I may now serve sauteed chard or kale. When I make my dressing I use lots of chopped vegetables for flavor.

These roasted vegetables can be made anytime, as they make a really nice side for just about anything. And because they are not only vegetarian, but vegan, everyone can enjoy them.


print recipe 


Spiced Roasted Winter Vegetables
Winter root vegetables roasted with warming spices makes an excellent side dish for the holidays!
  • 1 small, about 4 pounds kabocha squash, seeded, peeled, cut into large dice
  • 2 1/2 pounds yams, peeled, cut into large dice
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled, sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. If using foil, lightly spray the surface with nonstick cooking spray.Place the cut vegetables into a large bowl. Mix together the oil, allspice, cinnamon, salt and red pepper. Pour the seasoned oil over the vegetables, tossing to coat completely.Pour the vegetables onto the prepared pans, spreading them out evenly.Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes, stir to turn them, then roast an additional 15 minutes or until they are tender and caramelized

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 45 mins Total time: 1 hour Yield: 12 cups

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista