Couscous with braised lamb shanks
About 2 3/4 hours
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30 ml (2 tbsp.) olive oil
4 small lamb shanks (about 325 g each)
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
15 ml (1 tbsp.) flour
15 ml (1 tbsp.) tomato paste
5 ml (1 tsp.) ground coriander
5 ml (1 tsp.) ground ginger
5 ml (1 tsp.) ground cumin
2 ml (1/2 tsp.) turmeric
1 pinch of saffron
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
2 pinches of hot pepper
4 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 orange (juice + 3 thin strips of zest)
1 L (4 cups) chicken stock
Salt and ground black pepper
15 ml (1 tbsp.) butter
10 dates, pitted and cut in half
1 ml (1/4 tsp.) cumin seeds
45 ml (3 tbsp.) pine nuts, toasted
80 ml (1/3 cup) fresh coriander, chopped
1 L (4 cups) medium wheat semolina, cooked
45 ml (3 tbsp.) butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Braised lamb shanks
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and brown the shanks.
- Remove them from the saucepan and set aside.
- In the same saucepan, add the onion and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the flour and tomato paste. Stir well.
- Add the spices, tomatoes and orange zest (make sure to remove all the white from the zest as it could be bitter).
- Add the chicken stock and reserved shanks. They should be covered with stock; if not, add more water.
- Cook for about 2 1/2 hours or until the meat shreds with a fork.
- Adjust the seasoning and reduce the sauce if needed.
- In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the dates with cumin for 2 minutes.
- Add the pine nuts.
- Set aside and sprinkle with coriander.
- Heat the couscous with butter and season well.
- Serve couscous and lamb shanks garnished with dates on separate platters placed in the middle of the table.
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