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Introduction

Lamb Shanks might be seen as something to slow cook in the long winter months, but one of my favourite Summer dishes is a North African style hot pot, with plenty of aroma.

Method

  1. For this aromatic and light take on a traditional hot pot I first rub 2 spring lamb shanks with my favourite spice Raz al hanout, a North African blend of up to 50 spices (which includes rose petals, cardamom, and coriander,) a splash of olive oil, and half a dozen garlic cloves, massaging this into the shanks then marinade overnight.
  2. The next day I chop 2 large onions, and soften them in olive oil in an earthenware pot big enough to hold the shanks.
  3. Next add the flesh from 6 plum tomatoes skin with the tough eye removed. A good way to remove the skin is by plunging them in boiling water for 10 seconds then refreshing in ice-cold water. The skin should easily peel away, then cook the tomatoes to a pulp with the onions, adding in the zest of a lemon.
  4. Next, add 500 ml of light chicken or vegetable broth bringing to a simmer, then reduce by 30%. Thicken this with a tablespoon of corn flour mixed with cold water and stirring into the hot broth.
  5. Separately fry the shanks on all sides until golden and caramelized, then add the lamb to the broth. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook in an oven for 3 hours on 130ºC, checking the meat comes easily away from the bone when testing for tenderness.
  6. To finish and serve, add a handful of fresh mint and basil leaves roughly chopped to the pot, serve in deep bowls with plenty of the aromatic juices from the pot, and alongside a bowl of cous cous or steamed rice.