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Braised Lamb Shanks Tunisian

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Prep time: 30min
Cook time: 150min

This is a very festive dish to make for a special occasion. It is quite easy, but it takes time in the oven. Great for winter and early spring!


7 servings

Serving size

1/7 recipe


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)


  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
  2. 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.
  3. Cook the lamb shank pieces, turning them occasionally until they are lightly and evenly browned, about 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer the browned shanks to a bowl.
  5. 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.
  6. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, cumin, cardamom seeds, cinnamon stick, thyme, ginger, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and bay leaf.
  7. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  8. Add the vegetable stock, water, wine, crushed tomatoes, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer.
  9. Add the browned shanks, cover the pan, and bake for 1 hour.
  10. Uncover the pan, stir in the apricots, and return to the oven to bake 1 more hour.
  11. Prepare couscous (if using), per the package directions. Cover and keep warm until serving.
  12. 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.
  13. Remove from the oven when fully cooked and stir in half the mint.
  14. Serve on a platter with couscous underneath and topped with fresh chopped mint and thyme.

Cooking Tip

The apricots can be substituted with other dried fruits such as figs, prunes or golden raisins.

Recipe Contributed by FamilyCook Productions

Nutrition Info

Nutrition Info

Makes: 7 servings  Serving size: 1/7 recipe




18 g

Saturated Fat

5 g

Trans Fat

0 g


49 mg


18 g


12 g


3 g


15 g


121 mg


57 mg


173 mg


597 mg