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Lamb Shanks with chick peas and Moroccan spices

Lamb Shanks with chick peas and Moroccan spices

Ingredients

1 can chick peas (or 1 cup raw chick peas soaked overnight)
2 tablesp olive oil
4 lamb shanks
2 medium onions, chopped
850ml chicken stock
2 teasp ginger, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teasp Harissa (see below)
2 teasp ground cumin
2 teasp ground coriander
½ cup fresh coriander, chopped
1 teasp black pepper, freshly ground
1 teasp paprika
Pinch saffron strands
1 cinnamon stick
450g carrots, cut into thick slices
140g dried apricots
1 teasp honey
1 450g can chopped tomatoes

Method

Mix together ginger, garlic, harissa, cumin, coriander, pepper and paprika.  Rub these ingredients into lamb and set aside to marinate for several hours, or overnight.
Heat oil in large pan and brown the lamb all over.  Remove and place in casserole or tagine, and set aside.
Pour off most of the fat, leaving 1 tablesp in the pan.  Add the onions and fry until soft and caramelised.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes.  Place on top of the lamb, cover with chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer 5 minutes.
Add chick peas, carrots, apricots, honey, saffron, cinnamon stick and salt.  Cover and simmer at very low heat on stove or in oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours.  (You can prepare up to this stage the day before – cool, cover and refrigerate.  This enhances the flavour for the next day).  You could also cook in slow cooker overnight.
Next day, cover and return to oven or cook top for 1 hour until the lamb is very tender and the vegetables are cooked.  Scatter with almonds and fresh coriander to serve.

Harissa (makes approx. ½ cup)

10-12 dried red chilli peppers
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teasp salt
2 tablesp olive oil
1 teasp ground coriander
1 teasp ground caraway seeds
½ teasp ground cumin
Soak the chillies in hot water for 30 mins.  Drain.  Remove stems and seeds.  Grind to a paste in mortar and pestle. Store in refrigerator.

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