Lamb Shanks and Dang Gui to Nourish the New Mum

Friday, 24th June 2022

Lamb Shanks to Nourish the New MumLamb Shanks with Dang Gui (Angelica sinensis), ginger and dates is one of our favourites for warming and replenishing the new mums in our lives, and anyone lacking in vitality.

In Chinese Medicine the first month postpartum is considered an important time for healing and recovery. Known as zuo yue zi  (坐月子),  which beautifully translates to “Sitting The Moon”, meaning to allow new mums to do nothing but to rest and recover for one month after delivery.

Traditionally either one of the new grandmothers would come and care for the family, providing nourishing foods, herbal medicines and supportive care for the new mother.

As you can imagine there are an abundance of delicious recipes for this period of time, all which focus on rebuilding Qi (energy), Yang (vital warmth) and Blood (a deeply nourishing Yin energetic).  Lamb with Dang Gui, ginger and dates is considered to be one of the best for warming and replenishing the body’s deepest resources.

Lamb Shanks to Nourish the New Mum

Lamb is said to be warming and builds Qi and Blood. It is considered to be one of the more Yang tonifying meats which means it is excellent for promoting blood circulation and keeping the cold at bay. It is often recommended to those who are feeling depleted, weak and who struggle to stay warm.

Dang Gui (Angelica sinensis) is thought of as the quintessential women’s herb in Chinese Medicine. It nourishes and invigorates the Blood and is often prescribed to ease menstrual disorders and improve vitality.

Fresh Ginger is said to warm and strengthen digestive function, encouraging the body to absorb the nutrients it receives and transform them into useful resources.

Chinese Dates are nourishing for both the Blood and Spleen Qi (digestive function). You’ll find them in a wide range of herbal formulas and are especially useful for when you are feeling overwhelmed and depleted.

You can find Dang Gui, ginger and Chinese dates in most Asian grocer’s, or you can pop in and get them from us.   Alternatively you can use a bag of our Mama Love Healing Herbs. This is a special blend of therapeutic herbs including Dang Gui, ginger and Chinese dates all wrapped up in an easy to use organic muslin bag.

Lamb Shanks with Dang Gui, Ginger and Dates ​​​​​​​​


4 lamb shanks ​​​​​​​​

1 small onion , finely diced​​​​​​​​

3 garlic cloves , minced​​​​​​​​

1 large carrot, finely diced ​​​​​​​​

1 large celery stalk, finely diced ​​​​​​​​

1 bottle red wine or beef broth​​​​​​​​

800g crushed tomatoes​​​​​​​​

2 tbsp tomato paste​​​​​​​​

500 ml chicken broth​​​​​​​​

1 large piece of fresh ginger roughly cut into pieces ​​​​​​​​

1 bag of Mama Love Healing Herbs (this has Dang Gui, ginger and Chinese dates plus other therapeutic herbs) OR 15g Dang Gui

10 Chinese dates or medjool dates (only if you can’t get the Chinese ones)

5 sprigs of thyme​​​​​​​​


Preheat the oven to 350F/180C​​​​​​​​

Put chicken broth and Dang Gui OR Mama Love Healing Herbs into a small saucepan and gently simmer with the lid on until required (20-30mins). ​​​​​​​​

Sear the lamb shanks until brown all over, about 5 min.​​​​​​​​

Remove lamb onto a plate and drain excess fat from the pan.​​​​​​​​

Add ginger to the pan and dry fry on medium heat for 5 minutes. ​​​​​​​​

Lower the heat, add the onion and garlic, sauté gently for 5 minutes.​​​​​​​​

Add carrot and celery. Continue to sauté for 5 minutes.​​​​​​​​

Roughly cut the Chinese dates and add to the pan.

Strain chicken stock to remove herbs. ​​​​​​​​

Add the red wine (or beef broth), chicken stock, crushed tomato, tomato paste, and thyme to the pan. Stir to combine.​​​​​​​​

Place the lamb shanks into the pot making sure they are mostly submerged.​​​​​​​​

Turn the stove up, bring to a simmer. Cover, then transfer to the oven for 2 hours.​​​​​​​​

Remove from oven and remove the lid, then return to the oven for another 30 minutes or until the meat is just holding to the bone. ​​​​​​​​

Best served with veggies and mash.