If you've ever walked through a spice souk in Morocco or the Middle East, you'll know how alluring the mounds of colourful spices can be.
Ras el Hanout is a fragrant, heady spice mix, combining warm spices such as cinnamon, cloves and ginger with native African flavours and the perfume of lavender and rose petals, a poetic combination which adds a unique taste to this dish.
As with all casseroles, this will taste even better the day after (and gives you time to skim the fat off the top).
Excellent served with couscous and steamed veggies.
- Prep Time : 20-30 minutes
- Cook Time : 2h 00 min
- Yield : 4
- lamb shanks - 4
- Ras el Hanout (Moroccan spice mix) - 2 -3 tablespoons
- olive oil - 2 -3 tablespoons
- onion - 1, diced
- carrot - 1, diced
- celery stick - 1, finely sliced
- garlic - 2 cloves, crushed
- dry white wine - 60ml
- chopped Roma tomatoes - 1 x 400g tin
- chilli flakes - 1/2 teaspoon
- honey - 1 tablespoon
- chicken stock - 500ml (2 cups), or more if required
- chickpeas - 1 x 400g, rinsed and drained
- salt and freshly ground pepper - to taste
- oregano - 1 teaspoon, freshly chopped
Lightly rub the shanks with the spice mix. Leave to sit overnight, if you have time, or for an hour or two.
Preheat oven to 170C (150D fan-forced).
In a large heavy-based pan or casserole, heat the oil and fry the shanks gently until golden brown all over, being careful not to burn the oil. Remove shanks to a plate lined with paper towels.
Add the diced onions, carrot and celery and garlic to the spice-flavoured oil. Fry until turning golden then add the garlic and wine. Let simmer 1 -2 minutes then add the tomatoes, chilli flakes, honey and stock and bring to the boil. Return drumsticks to the pan and season to taste.
Cover with a lid and place in pre-heated oven for 1.5 -2 hours, turning the shanks over occasionally and checking that shanks are covered in stock. Remove and stir through the chickpeas and oregano. Return to the oven and bake until shanks are tender and chickpeas heated through.