Saturday, February 4, 2012

Lamb shanks with chick peas and Moroccan spices.

We're talking serious comfort food here, hearty, tasty, delicious, spicy - did I say DELICIOUS!

If you can get lamb shanks in your butcher's generally you will only pay about €2.50 each. The weekend I wanted to make this the butcher was out of them and I paid €9 for 2 in Tesco's which I was a tad cross about but I so wanted them that I paid the dosh over!

This is not an after work recipe as it takes hours to slowly cook, well maybe if you want your dinner at midnight you might cook it after work!

Here's what you'll need: (To serve 4)

  • Tin Chickpeas, approx 400g
  •  2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 lamb shanks (medium)
  • 2 medium onions , chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves , finely chopped
  • 2 fresh green chillies , seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 large tomatoes , peeled, seeded and chopped
  • pinch of saffron strands
  • 2cm/0.25in piece of cinnamon stick
  • 450g carrots , cut into thick slices
  • 140g ready-to-eat dried apricots
  • 1 tsp clear honey


  • 50g blanched almonds , fried in butter until browned ( I only had flaked almonds in the cupboard so that was what I used.
  • chopped fresh coriander

Here's what you'll need to do:

Heat the oil in a large casserole and brown the lamb all over. Remove and set aside. Pour off most of the fat, leaving 1 tablespoon in the dish, add the onions and fry for 8-10 minutes until soft.
Preheat the oven to fan oven 140C.
Mix together the ginger, garlic, chillies, cumin, coriander, pepper and paprika. Add half of this to the onions, tip in the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Put in the lamb, cover generously with water (about 450ml), bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Cover and cook in the oven for 11⁄2-2 hours
Remove from the oven and stir in the remaining spice mixture, the tinned chick peas, saffron and cinnamon, carrots, apricots, honey and salt. Cover and return to the oven for 45 minutes-1 hour until the lamb is tender and the vegetables cooked.
 Scatter the almonds and coriander on top.

We usually eat this with some cous cous flavoured with lemon and coriander, just a little cos the main dish is so filling!

The original recipe I have is torn from an old Good Food magazine.


  1. Yum! And OMG are you kidding...nine euros? Sometimes I hate
    Tesco. Our butcher sells them for €2.75 and they are always a favourite at our house too. I love the fresh ginger in your recipe. I bet it had a lovely zing to it.
    Looks like we are getting a bit of the cold weather to go with this hearty dish too!

    1. Very late in my replies! Been busy eating - sadly not too untrue!

      I managed to get a few lamb shanks at the butchers last week, €2.99 each so I've stocked up the freezer!

      The ginger was lovely Mona! I adore ginger, with lamb, in tea, or better again crystallised with dark chocolate, nom, nom!

  2. that sounds yummy..I love lamb shank.

    1. Try this recipe Lia and you'll love lamb shank even more!

  3. This recipe looks yummy! I also got stung by the Tesco price for shanks but they were tasty ... I did them with a red wine sauce but I'd love to try your recipe!

    1. I love the lamb shanks with red wine too Ruth, and lots of buttery creamy mash - oh I'm such a glutton!