Lamb shank with apricots and almonds

Jun Tanaka makes a Moroccan inspired dish served with a delicious spicy apple and sultana couscous salad
By Jun Tanaka
Lamb shank with apricots and almonds
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 1 hr cooling and 15 mins soaking
  • Effort: easy


  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 dashes of olive oil
  • 300 ml white wine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprigs rosemary
  • 800 ml lamb stock
  • 100 g chopped dried apricots
  • 50 g toasted blanched flaked almonds

For the couscous salad

  • 200 g couscous
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 bunches mint, chopped
  • 50 g sultanas, soaked
  • 1/2 bunches spring onion, chopped
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 25 ml olive oil


1. Season the lamb shanks with the crushed spices, salt and pepper. Pour a little olive oil in a large frying pan and brown all over (1-2 minutes per side).

2. Take out, drain the fat and deglaze the pan with the wine. Reduce the wine by half and keep to one side.

3. In a separate pan add some olive oil and brown the vegetables (5-8 minutes). Add the tomato puree and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary and reduced wine.

4. Arrange the lamb on top, pour in the stock, bring to the boil, cover and cook in the oven at 180C/gas 4 for 2 hours. Take out and leave for 1 hour to cool completely.

5. When cool carefully remove the lamb and place in a large frying pan. Strain 500ml of the cooking liquid over the shanks. Add the apricots, and reduce the sauce. Keep spooning the sauce and apricots over the lamb. Once the lamb is nicely glazed, sprinkle over the almonds.

6. For the couscous salad: in a saucepan, boil 200ml of water with the olive oil, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Place the couscous in a bowl. Pour over the boiling liquid and put cling film over the bowl. Leave for 15min until the grains puff up and the liquid is absorbed.

7. Remove the cling film and stir through the rest of the ingredients.

8. Serve the lamb shanks with the couscous in a large bowl alongside.

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