Moroccan Braised Lamb Shanks

Lamb Shanks. Comfort food to the max. For those times when it feels like the seasons are changing from Winter right back to Fall, skipping Spring and Summer entirely. Maybe I shouldn’t joke about these things…

Lamb is one of those meats that many people either love or hate. My brother falls in the hate or “dislike greatly” category. Albeit I think he actually doesn’t know what he likes because I have been making lamb for him for years and just pretending it is other meat- I just don’t tell him what the ingredients are and he has never questioned me. I may be a wizard.

I made this last weekend for Mother’s Day. We served these Moroccan lamb shanks with couscous and chickpeas as well as an an arugula salad. Yum.

Yes I realize that braised lamb is more a fall/winter type of dish but the weather was unseasonably cool AND my Grandma LOVES lamb so here is to the wonderful mothers in my family. Mom and Grandma- you guys are so inspirational and I appreciate everything you have done for me.

Moroccan Braised Lamb Shanks

Print Recipe
Serves: 4


  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1 medium onion (large dice)
  • 1 large carrot (large dice)
  • 2 sticks celery (large dice)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 2-3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/3 cup sliced apricots (~10)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • salt to taste
  • 1 can whole tomatoes (low sodium)
  • chicken stock (~2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup green and black olives (with pits)- kalamata work well
  • Garnish:
  • - Mint yogurt
  • - Parsley
  • - Sliced almonds



Preheat oven to 500F.


On a baking sheet, lay the lamb shanks on their sides and rub lightly with olive oil. Sear the meat in the oven for ~10 minutes per side or until the shanks are browned.


Turn down the oven to 300F and set the lamb aside.


Meanwhile, in a dutch oven or oven proof pot, sauté the onions, carrot and celery until softened.


Add the minced garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant. Stir in the spices, dried apricots, lemon and cinnamon stick.


Add the can of tomatoes and chicken stock. Place the lamb shanks back into the pot (the liquid should come up half way) and scatter in the olives.


Cover the pot and place in the oven. Let braise for 2 hours.


Remove and serve with couscous, sliced almonds, parsley and a salad for a complete meal.


Serve with: - Couscous - Green Beans or Salad

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