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Lamb Shanks with Fruited Couscous

Adapted from Chef JosÚ de Meirelles

This dish can be served as it is, or with an accompaniment of fennel confit.

Yield: 8 servings

Lamb Shanks

  • 8 lamb shanks (front leg shanks)
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 bouquet garni (1/2 garlic clove, 1 sprig parsley, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf, tied together in cheesecloth)
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Season the shanks with salt, pepper and cumin.

In a sautÚ pan, heat vegetable oil on high heat and brown the shanks on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside. Using the same pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil, add diced vegetables and cook until browned. Add flour and cook for about 5 minutes. Add wine and simmer, reducing liquid by half.

Put shanks in a large pot. Add the liquid with vegetables, tomato paste, and bouquet garni. Cover shanks with water and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the shanks are very tender and the meat can be easily separated from the bone.

Just before serving, place rosemary and 4 remaining garlic cloves in a mortar and make a paste. Add mixture to the sauce.

Fruited Couscous

8 servings

  • 2 cups couscous (1 package)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 pound almonds
  • 1/4 pound golden raisins or dried figs
  • 1/4 pound diced dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 sprigs parsley, chopped
  • 3 sprigs mint, chopped

In a large bowl, mix couscous with olive oil, almonds and dried fruits. Bring chicken stock to a boil, pour stock over the couscous, cover, and allow to sit for 20 minutes, undisturbed. Using a large fork, fluff couscous and sprinkle with herbs before serving.

Wine suggestion
Cabernet Sauvignon

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