Moroccan braised lamb shank


This dish has all of the flavours that I love about Moroccan cookery. As the lamb shanks cook they absorb all of the flavours from the cooking juices and this then becomes the sauce, making an intense but well balanced dish. Serve this dish with cous cous (available at most supermarkets) for a complete meal.
All the lamb that we use at the Merchant Hotel is grown organically on Glenarm estate. They are then aged for 15 days by Peter Hannon. They have a very distinctive flavour due to their diet of organic clover; the aging process just helps to intensify this already beautiful flavour.

Serves 6


2tsp ground ginger
1tsp cracked black pepper
1tsp turmeric
1tsp cayenne
2tsp paprika
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp ground cumin
6 lamb shanks
1tblsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1tsp cloves
1 tin of tomatoes, strained and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon sticks
2tsp honey
6 prunes, chopped
3 preserved lemon rinds, diced (available at Asian supermarkets)
Lamb or chicken stock to cover
Coriander chopped
Mint chopped

Mix all the top spices together and cover the lamb shanks, allow to infuse for 1 hour.
Heat the oil in a large tray and fry the onions until golden brown, add the lamb shanks and brown all over. Add the remaining ingredients, except the herbs and bring to the boil, cover with tin foil and place in the oven at 160c for 2 hours, or until the lamb is falling from the bone. Remove from the heat.

Remove the lamb from the liquid and take out bay leaves and cinnamon sticks, pour into a large pan and simmer until sauce reduces and thickens slightly.
Place the lamb shank into the reduced stock and simmer gently for 5mins, keep turning the lamb to give an even glaze, remove from the heat and stand for 2mins, stir through the herbs and serve immediately with cous cous.

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