Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Moroccan Braised Lamb Shanks

The name Morocco brings to mind an exotic land, aromatic spices in outdoor markets and Casa Blanca. Morocco lies on the northern coast of Africa, one coast across the Strait of Gibraltar on the Mediterranean and another bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Morocco has an ancient history and has been influenced by everyone from Roman to Spanish and French. These influences are apparent in the fragrant spices and ingredients used in local dishes. This dish has a touch of the French influence on Morocco in the fennel seeds and orange. A slow braise tenderizes lamb shanks in a very aromatic sauce for a wonderful, slightly exotic and mildly spicy dish. I hope you enjoy.

Moroccan Braised Lamb Shanks


4 lamb shanks, about 12 ounces each
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. ginger, grated
1 cup onions, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. fennel seed
2 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. orange zest
4 cups water
1/2 cup orange segments, cut into pieces
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

Trim lamb shanks by removing visible fat. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Preheat a large dutch oven or other similar pot on medium high heat with the olive oil. Brown the lamb shanks on all sides. Remove and reserve. Drain any excess fat. Add the garlic, ginger, onions and carrots. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until onions become translucent. Add all of the spices including the orange zest. Stir to toast the spices for about 1 or 2 minutes. Add the water and blend well. Transfer the lamb shanks back into pot and reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove the lamb shanks to plate and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Increase the heat under the pot and reduce the liquid by about half. Add the orange segments, parsley and lamb shanks to warm.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 240.5
Total Fat 9.7 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.7 g
Cholesterol 74.0 mg
Sodium 33.1 mg
Potassium 305.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 13.2 g
Dietary Fiber 3.9 g
Sugars 1.7 g
Protein 25.7 g

Note ~ If you cannot find lamb shanks or you simply prefer, you can substitute lamb cubes for stew. Just follow the same directions for the recipe.

1 comment:

  1. I made this last night for me and my boyfriend who has diabetes and it was excellent! I look forward to trying more of your recipes. As a chef myself I found it challenging to make diabetic-friendly meals that were also tasty. You have given me new hope!