INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
- 4 lamb shanks, 350g each
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp each paprika, cumin and coriander
- 1 tsp ginger
- 4 cups beef or lamb stock
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp harissa paste
- 1 preserved lemon, cut in wide strips
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Pinch saffron
- 20 pitted prunes
- 10 pitted dates
- 1/4 cup each fresh cilantro and mint, roughly chopped
1 / In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, sear the lamb shanks in olive oil over medium-high heat until browned on all sides. Remove from pot and set aside.
2 / Reduce the heat to medium. Add onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is golden brown, about 7-10 minutes. Add paprika, cumin, coriander and ginger; continue cooking for about a minute, or until fragrant. Stir in stock, water, tomato paste, harissa, preserved lemon, cinnamon stick and saffron, as well as the browned lamb shanks. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low; simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
3 / After half an hour, uncover the pot and turn over the lamb shanks. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 90 minutes or until lamb shanks are tender.
4 / Remove the shanks from the dish; cover and set aside to keep warm. Add prunes and dates to the mixture in the pot and increase heat to high; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is reduced and thickened.
Serve shanks and sauce on a bed of plain couscous, topped with a generous scattering of chopped cilantro and mint.