October 14, 2010
Moroccan Lamb Shanks with Gravy & Creamy Couscous
This is a wonderful recipe that was originally created for slow-cookers. I made it on the stove instead in my big, heavy dutch oven, since the thought of shanks occurred to me too late for this meal to spend a day in the crock-pot. I have to say it's the perfect meal for a cold and rainy night like tonight.
The medley of sweet dried fruit get juicy and plump as they simmer away in the savory broth of the meat, which cooks slowly until it is fall-off-the-bone tender. Paired with a simple and fast couscous made creamy by a dab of tangy Greek yogurt, it's a match made in dinner heaven. You'll want to keep this recipe for weekend nights spent at home or to impress dinner guests. It's simple to prepare, but looks and tastes out of this world... or just out of this country, as you're transported to Morocco with every delicious bite.
Moroccan Lamb Shanks: serves 2
2 lamb shanks, approx. 3/4-1 lb. each
1/8 cup flour
2 T. cooking oil
1/4 cup dried apricots, cut in half
1/4 cup dried figs, cut into fourths
1/8 cup raisins
1/8 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup beef broth
1 T. sugar
1 T. cider vinegar
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice (or allspice)
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 T. flour or cornstarch
Couscous: 1/2 cup couscous, 1 cup water, 3 T. Greek yogurt, salt to taste
Sprinkle shanks with salt and pepper then coat with flower. Brown in hot oil in a large dutch oven. Remove from heat and stir together the remaining ingredients in the dutch oven, through the cinnamon. Ad the meat back in, and cover and cook on low heat for about two hours, stirring once. The lamb should be tender.
Meanwhile, bring 1 cup water to a boil, then add couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let sit five minutes, then stir in the yogurt and salt and fluff with a fork.
For the gravy, transfer the shanks and fruit to a place and keep warm with foil. Stir 1 T. flour into the broth that remains in the dutch oven, then add water up to 1 cup until the gravy is to its desired thickness while it simmers, whisking the whole time. Place shanks and fruit on the plate with a scoop of couscous and top with the broth.