morrocan lamb shanks

Lambprecook
Lamb shanks tend to be really fatty but if you take the time out to strain all the fat out at the end, it makes all the difference in the world.  This is what the lamb looked like before cooking.  Picture below is before serving for dinner. 

8 Lamb Shanks

2 Spanish onions thinly sliced

20 dried pitted prunes

1 cup golden raisins

1 blood orange – slices and roasted in the oven for 6 hours until dry

2 boxes grape tomatoes – mixed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dried rosemary roasted in the oven for 6 hours

one bottle red wine or possible more

2 cups chicken broth

1 tbsp. sweet paprika

In a spice bag – Bay leaf, 2 cinnamon sticks

salt and pepper

Lamb
The day before roast the blood oranges and tomatoes.  I put them in the same oven on different cookies sheets ( lined with parchment paper ) and roasted them for about 6 hours at 200.  The tomatoes didn't get as dried up as I had hoped but that was ok, it was time for bed.  I put the sheets aside on the counter to use the following day.  I didn't put this in the refrigerator.

In a large Le Cruset pot ( the key to life for winter cooking ) cover the bottom with olive oil and heat.  Salt and pepper the lamb shanks.  On a medium high heat brown the shanks on all sides and set aside. 

Add the onions and saute until soft and beginning to carmelize. 

Put the shanks back into the pot.  Add everything else.  I felt like I needed more wine because I wanted to make sure that shanks were really covered so I added another half a bottle of wine.  So in essence, I used one and a half bottles of red wine.  Cover the pot and turn the heat down to simmer and let it hang out on the stove anywhere from 3-4 hours.  The meat should almost be falling of the bone when done. 

When the lamb was done, I took the shanks out and put them on a serving platter that could be put in the oven for later.  I took the broth that the lamb cooked in and strained it into a large bowl.  Putting the raisins, prunes, tomatoes and blood orange slices aside.  Take out the spice bag and throw out.  Take the strained broth and put it one of those glass containers where the grease comes to the top.  This takes several times to get through the whole pot.  Pour out the grease each time and then put the clean broth in another pot.  I did this three separate times to make sure the grease was really gone.  Then I added back into this broth the tomatoes, raisins, prunes and blood oranges that I had set aside.  This takes some time to do but well worth it. 

I put this mixture that is now in a separate pot back on the stove and boiled it down just a little bit until it got thick.  5-10 minutes. 

Before dinner, I put the shanks that are on a serving plate in oven already warmed at 350 degrees.  Warmed the broth up until hot.  Then I put already made couscous on each plate, a hot lamb shank on top and then poured the warm broth over each shank.  On the side I served an already made pan browned cauliflower. 

It is really filling and delicious.  Best part, not as fatty as it would be if I had not taken out all the fat before serving.