Braised Lamb Shanks Tunisian
¼ cup olive oil
2 (1.75 pounds) lamb shanks sawed crosswise by the butcher in half (nutrient analysis calculated with 18 ounces of flesh, 10 ⅜ ounces is bones)
1 small (70 grams) yellow onion, diced
2 medium (122 grams) carrots, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
½ tablespoon cumin, ground
½ teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
4 sprigs thyme, fresh
½ teaspoon ginger, ground
½ teaspoon coriander seed, ground
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
2 cups vegetable stock, low sodium
½ cup water
¾ cup red wine (such as Merlot)
½ cup (112 grams) crushed tomatoes, canned, low sodium
Pinch of salt, to taste
4 ½ ounces dried apricots, cut in half lengthwise
¼ cup mint, roughly chopped
2 cups couscous, uncooked (optional, not included in nutrient analysis)
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
- Set a large, heavy 5 ½-quart ovenproof pan (such as a Dutch oven or a covered flameproof casserole) over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil.
- Cook the lamb shank pieces, turning them occasionally until they are lightly and evenly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the browned shanks to a bowl.
- Pour off the oil from the pan but do not clean it. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and set the pan over low heat.
- Add the onion, carrot, garlic, cumin, cardamom seeds, cinnamon stick, thyme, ginger, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and bay leaf.
- Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock, water, wine, crushed tomatoes, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the browned shanks, cover the pan, and bake for 1 hour.
- Uncover the pan, stir in the apricots, and return to the oven to bake 1 more hour.
- Prepare couscous (if using), per the package directions. Cover and keep warm until serving.
- Remove from the oven once or twice to stir and return to the oven. The dish is done when the lamb meat begins to fall off the bones.
- Remove from the oven when fully cooked and stir in half the mint.
- Serve on a platter with couscous underneath and topped with fresh chopped mint and thyme.