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Lamb Shanks Tagine with Preserved Lemon

Serves: Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 (1- to 114-pound) lamb shanks
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 cup olive oil
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, and sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 114 cups dry white wine
  • 1 can (1412 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted
  • 112 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 8 small preserved lemons
  • 112 cups pitted green olives
  • 5 cups chicken stock or top-quality chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons harissa
  • 14 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Procedures:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

  2. Season the lamb shanks with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper, then coat with the flour, patting to remove the excess. Heat the oil in a large heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, over medium heat. Brown the lamb shanks well on all sides, 3 or 4 at a time, for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.


  3. Add the carrots, onion, and fennel to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly browned. Stir in the garlic. Add the wine, tomatoes, coriander, cumin, fennel, and cinnamon stick. Cook over mediumlow heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has thickened.


  4. Quarter the preserved lemons, then cut away and discard the soft flesh. Cut the lemon skins into 18-inch strips.


  5. Return the lamb shanks to the pot. Scatter the lemon and the olives evenly over and around the meat. Add the chicken stock and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and braise in the oven 3 to 4 hours, until the meat is very tender and begins pulling away from the bones (cooking time will vary with the size of the shanks). Transfer the shanks to a platter. Set the pot over mediumhigh heat and boil for 10 to 20 minutes to reduce the sauce by one-quarter. Stir in the lemon juice and check for seasoning. Remove the cinnamon stick.


  6. Combine the yogurt and harissa in a small bowl and stir to mix. Arrange the lamb shanks on individual plates (on the couscous, if serving). Top with the sauce and sprinkle with cilantro. Pass the harissa/yogurt mixture separately.

by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

 
 
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