I was given some lamb shanks by a friend as a challenge, and came up with this recipe.  I love lamb shanks because they are full of flavour and when they are cooked long and slow the meat just melts off the bone.  The Moroccan inspired spices make this a really warming dish for a cold winters night.

Serves 4

4 lamb shanks

2 large red chillies (medium strength) – de seeded and roughly chopped

1 tin tomatoesMoroccan Style Lamb Shank

1 red pepper – chopped

3 large onions – chopped

2 medium carrots – chopped

2 sticks celery – chopped

Serves 4

1 tbsp coriander seed – ground

2 tsp cumin seed – ground

2 cloves garlic – skinned

3 strips of lemon rind and the juice of 1 lemon

2 cm piece of ginger – peeled and roughly chopped

Handful of raisins

1 – 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

  1. Set the oven to 150C/300F/gas2
  2. Whizz the chillies, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and 1 of the onions in a food processor or with a hand blender to make a paste.
  3. Toast the coriander and cumin seed lightly to release the aromas, then grind in a mortar and pestle.
  4. Brown the lamb shanks in a heavy based casserole, remove to a plate once browned, pour off most of the fat, then add the chopped vegetables.  Fry until browned slightly, then add the chilli and tomato paste.
  5. Add the ground spices, lemon rind and raisins, stir to combine, then add the lamb shanks back to the pan.
  6. Top the liquid in the pan up to almost covering the lamb shanks with either water or some chicken stock.  Bring to the boil, cover and place in the oven and allow to cook for 2 ½ hours.
  7. Once cooked, remove the lamb from the casserole and set aside to keep warm.  Skim the fat from the top of the sauce.  If the sauce is too thin, thicken it by simmering off some of the liquid.  Once the sauce is the desired consistency, add the pomegranate molasses and lemon juice, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  8. Best served with mash and a green vegetable.