There’s nothing quite like the deliciously intoxicating smell of slow-cooked lamb shanks to hit your comfort food sweet spot. This dish totally fits the bill when you want to cook something rustic, yet utterly luxurious at the same time!
Bathed in spiced, saucy lentils and served over a fragrant, nutty couscous – this dish echos the flavors of Morocco with it’s combination of savory and sweet. I’m using the best quality Australian lamb shanks I could find – meaty, succulent, and slide off the bone after simmering in their juices for hours. Let the shanks braise quietly while giving them the occasional stir to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
It’s extreme comfort food that’ll win your guests over every single time. That is a promise!
Spiced Lamb Shanks with Lentil Reduction and Almond, Apricot & Sultana Couscous
For the Lamb and Lentils:
- 4 Australian lamb shanks, removed from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 fat pinch of of salt
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
- 1 dried red chili pepper (crumbled (or ¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes))
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Black pepper
- 6 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 cup tablespoons red lentils
- Water to cover
- Sliced toasted almonds to garnish
Put 3 tablespoons of the oil into a very large, wide, heavy-bottomed pan and warm over medium heat. Brown the lamb shanks, in batches, in the pan. Set.
Fry the onion and garlic until soft. Stir in the turmeric, ground ginger, cumin chili, cinnamon and nutmeg, and season with some freshly ground pepper. Cook for 1 minute.
Add the honey and soy sauce.
Put the shanks back in the pan, add cold water almost to cover, bring to the boil. Put a lid on the pan, lower the heat and simmer very gently for 2½ to 3 hours or until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally.
Remove the shanks from the lentil sauce. Set aside and keep warm. Turn up the heat to medium/high and simmer the sauce until reduced by half. Return the shanks to the sauce and reheat prior to serving.
For the Almond, Apricot, and Sultana Couscous:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 cup homemade chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup dried apricots
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Heat butter in a pan, add the shallots. Sauté until soft.
Bring Chicken stock to a boil. Add Couscous and salt. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Add shallots, apricots, almonds, and parsley. Mix and serve with the lamb shanks.