Lamb Shanks with Harissa, Saffron and Apricots

Thanksgiving and the holiday season is here….a lot of us think about food ( I do), what to make that feeds the soul and brings a deep smile to friends and family. A lamb shank where the meat falls off the bone….just right with apricots and saffron. This has a Mediterranean flair and is a melt in your mouth recipe and guarantees second helpings ( make more:) )

lambshanks-1-2The key is good grass fed organic shanks. Ask the butcher and he will prepare them for you. I went to whole foods and got four cleaned meaty shanks.

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Use good dried apricots – just soak then in warm water while you prepare the shanks. The saffron is from Kashmir…my love affair with saffron is perpetual. If you want to get the “real thing” from the valley check out this online store as they will deliver worldwide Kashmir Box.   Soak a few strands in warm water while you are cooking.

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Harissa is such an incredible hot chili pepper paste. It adds just the right amount of heat to this dish. I found mine in a tube at the local store.

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A heavy bottomed pan is needed. You could use a slow cooker for this dish as well.

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Lamb Shanks with Harissa, Saffron and Apricots

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

a melt in your mouth lamb shank with apricots and saffron

Ingredients

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  • 4 grass fed lamb shanks
  • 2 tablespoons Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 head of garlic – minced
  • 2 tablespoon spoon Harissa
  • A pinch of saffron strands
  • Juice of 2 limes, about 4 tablespoons
  •  Zest of 1 fresh lime
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 5-6 dried  apricots – halved and soaked in water for 2o mins
  •  A coupe of thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 6 cups hot broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint for garnish
  • Himalayan pink salt to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Soak the saffron with the lime juice and 1 tablespoon of warm water for about 10 mins
  3. Take the clean and dry shanks and sprinkle salt and  pepper. Rub it into the meat
  4. Brown the shanks in oil until they are evenly browed on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  5. In a heavy bottomed pan, use the remaining oil from the shanks and  sauté one chopped onion and 1 head of crushed garlic for about 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  6. Add 1 stick of cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom and 2 tablespoons of harissa. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes
  7.  Add lime zest, orange zest, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Stir in saffron mixture. Lay in the lamb shanks and add the broth. Season with black pepper and salt. Careful not to over salt at this point, you can adjust once the broth has reduced.
  8. Once the broth is boiling, transfer pot to oven and bake for about 2 hours, covered, until meat is  beginning to fall from the bone.
  9. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning
  10. In the last half hour of cooking add the apricots. At this point you can remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick from the liquid.
  11. Serve Shanks on a platter and pour the juice over it. Top with chopped mint and cilantro.
  12. Serve with a crusty bread or rice.

Taking this delicious dish to Angie’s where the co-hosts this week are Antonia @ Zoale and Petra @ Food Eat Love

15 thoughts on “Lamb Shanks with Harissa, Saffron and Apricots”

  1. Lamb shanks is an underrated cut and you have made something truly delicious! I love the sound of your dish, I have never tried lamb and apricots together before and I have clearly missed out!
    It looks mouthwatering! Happy FF! 🙂

    Like

  2. Zeba,
    I am drooling and waiting for Whole foods to open…it is 6:30 in the morning 🙂 Plus I have a 2 page long menu to make for Thanksgiving tomorrow. But these lamb shanks are simply irresistible. I love all the flavors going into this dish- the saffron,apricots and the harrisa are all favorites, not to mention the lamb!
    Fabulous photos too- love that blue!

    Like

    1. Thanks Sandhya…. that’s awesome. Ask the butcher to give you the meaty ones 🙂 so excited to have you try out the recipe for thanksgiving. Have a lovely and peaceful time with friends and family and with your culinary skills I am sure they can’t wait to feast at your table 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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