Moroccan Spiced Lamb Shanks

Serves 8


  • 160ml olive oil
  • 8 x 350g lamb shanks
  • 2 leeks, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 2 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 75g harissa paste
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 125ml white wine
  • 110g dried apricots, chopped
  • 110g pitted dates, chopped
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 100g large green olives
  • Coriander leaves, to serve


Preheat the oven to 150C. Heat half the olive oil in a large heavy-based casserole with a lid over high heat and brown the shanks in batches. Allow ten minutes for this process then transfer lamb to a plate and set aside. Discard remaining oil. Return casserole to medium-high heat and add remaining oil. Add leek, onion and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Add harissa, cinnamon, star anise, saffron and orange zest, and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add orange juice and white wine and bring to the boil.

Cook, scraping the bottom of the casserole with a wooden spoon, for 2-3 minutes or until wine mixture is reduced by half.

Stir through apricot, dates, chickpeas, tomatoes and stock, and bring to the boil. Return lamb to casserole, then cover and transfer to oven. Cook for 3 hours 30 minutes or until the meat is soft. Finally, crush and pit olives and scatter over lamb with coriander.

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