Flavour-filled recipe for Moroccan Lamb Shanks – served with spicy red pepper couscous

7.5 ml (½ Tbsp) cumin seeds
5 ml (1 tsp) coriander seeds
1 dried red chilli, crumbled and seeds removed if you like it mild
15 ml (1 Tbsp) cake flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 lamb shanks
30 ml (2 Tbsp) olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
2 medium-sized carrots, finely chopped
3 sticks celery, finely chopped
5 ml (1 tsp) turmeric
2.5 ml (½ tsp) ground cinnamon
5 ml (1 tsp) sweet paprika
150 ml white wine
2 x 400 g tins chopped tomatoes, plus 1 tin refilled with water
15 ml (1 Tbsp) minced fresh ginger
30 ml (2 Tbsp) chopped fresh coriander

Spicy couscous:
5 ml (1 tsp) very finely grated lemon zest
1/4 chargrilled red pepper or 3 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped into 1cm pieces
1/4 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
250 g couscous
250 ml (1 C) boiling water

How to
Heat the oven to 180 °C.

Crush the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and dried chilli using a pestle and mortar and mix with the flour.

Season and roll the lamb in the flour mixture. Heat the oil in a big stovetop-to-oven casserole and brown the lamb all over without burning. Take the shanks out and set aside. Add the garlic, onions, carrots and celery to the casserole, put the lid on and cook them gently, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes until they soften.

Add a little more oil if you need to. Stir in the turmeric, cinnamon and paprika and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and let it simmer for 3–4 minutes with the lid off before adding the tinned tomatoes, water, ginger and finally, the browned shanks.

Bring to the boil, cover and place in the oven for 2 hours. Remove the lid and skim off any excess oil. Stir well and season to taste before returning the casserole to the oven for another 30 minutes. Before serving with the couscous, stir in the chopped fresh coriander.

Spicy couscous:
Mix the lemon zest, red pepper and chilli with a little salt and pepper. Cook the couscous according to the packet instructions or by placing it into a wide, shallow bowl, and just covering the grains with boiling water.

Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 10 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Take off the plastic wrap, sprinkle over the lemon and red pepper or sun-dried tomato mixture, and fork through the grains until the couscous is light and fluffy.

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Recipe taken from Food for your Brood cookbook by Sam Gates. Published by Penguin Random House SA and available at all leading book stores.