Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Slow cooked lamb shanks with Ras El Hanout

Although I love to cook I hate it when I've just returned from holiday, after having everything cooked for you it's hard to get motivated to go near the cooker. But after catching up on a few foodie blogs I follow I came across this recipe by +Gingey Bites for Ras El Hanout spiced shoulder of lamb.

I had Lamb shanks in the freezer and ras el hanout in the store cupboard, so this was a good motivator for me. You can see +Gingey Bites recipe for Ras El Hanout spiced shoulder of lamb, Here.

After reading through a few different recipes for lamb shanks and ras el hanout I decided to just throw the holy trinity of vegetables for most stew based meals, onion, celery and carrot into the pot and see how it came out.

  • 2 large lamb shanks, trimmed of excess fat and sinew
  • 4 table spoons of olive oil
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp ras el hanout
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Juice and rind of one lemon
  • 1/2 of large white onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1/4 pint,142mls vegetable stock


Marinading lamb

  • Mix the oil, ras el hanout, lemon juice & zest and garlic to make a marinade.
  • Make a couple of slits in the lamb shanks and pour the marinade over the lamb.
  • Massage into the meat, cling film and leave for a couple of hours to marinade.
  • Sweat of the onion, celery and carrot in a large casserole pan, add tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer.
  • Add lamb and all it's marinade to the pan.
  • Cover and slow cook for at least 3 hours, I cooked mine for 5 hours at 325f / 170 c gas mark 3 but after 3 hours I turned the heat down to 250f /150c gas 2. 
  • Around 30 min's before finishing uncover the lamb and pour over the honey. Finish cooking uncovered to brown the meat and the liquid should reduce.

Sweating off the vegetables

I will make no apologies for serving this with a shop bought ( sorry but I am very jet lagged ) cous cous. This particular one is a favourite in our household, Ainsley Harriot's spiced sensation, it's really good.
however I did add a handful of raisins and toasted almonds which added extra sweetness and crunch.
Lamb shanks after 5 hours slow cooking, meat has shrank back from the bone and falling apart.
Served with the cous cous and toasted pitta bread for mopping up the juices.
These shanks were very large and what was left over was shredded and stuffed inside a toasted pitta bread, making a tasty lunch the next day!

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