Moroccan Braised Lamb Shank with Minted Cucumber Salad

Dan Kohler shows you the science behind braising meat.

Spice Mix Ingredients

  • 3 tsp Whole Fenugreek Seed
  • 1 tsp Red Chili Flake
  • 1 tsp Sumac
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon

Moroccan Braised Lamb Shank Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Lamb Shank (3-4 shanks, depending on their size)
  • Spice Mix (separated in half, used twice in the recipe)
  • 1 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch Cilantro, stems chopped finely
  • 3/4 cup Golden Raisins
  • 20 ounces Crushed/Chopped Tomato
  • 1/2 cup Red Wine
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Minted Cucumber Salad

  • 3 thin Cucumbers
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1 bunch Mint 
  • Handful Cilantro Leaves
  • 1 Pomegranate, seeds removed and saved
  • Brown Rice Vinegar to taste
  • Pomegranate Molasses to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Spice Mix

1. Add all ingredients to coffee grinder, process until smooth powder formed.

Moroccan Braised Lamb Shank

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Season the lamb shanks all over with salt, pepper, and the spice mix. You’ll need about half of the spice mix to complete this.

3. Sear the spiced lamb shanks on all sides in a hot dutch oven with a neutral oil. Remove the shanks from the pot once browned.

4. Drain any smoking or burnt oil from the dutch oven, and replace with neutral oil.

5. Saute onion until slightly soft, about 5-7 minutes.

6. Add cilantro stems and golden raisins, continue sautéing for roughly another 5 minutes.
7. Sprinkle the remaining spice mix over the onion mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes, until slightly darkened.

8. Add the tomato, and red wine, stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, salt if appropriate.

9. Nestle the lamb shanks back in the pot, making sure the sauce doesn’t reach more than 2/3 up their sides.

10. Place a heavy lid on the pot, or a parchment paper cutout, and slide the pot into your oven.

11. Cook the shanks for 90-120 minutes, or until fork tender. Every 30 minutes, open the pot and turn the shanks so that a new side is exposed to the air.

12. When ready to serve, remove the lid from the pot and increase the heat of the oven to 450 degrees. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.

13. Cut meat away from bone, serve with minted cucumber salad or couscous.

Minted Cucumber Salad

1. Peel and seed the cucumbers, then slice thinly. Add to a medium bowl.

2. Slice the onion very thinly, either by hand or with a mandoline. Add to bowl with cucumber.

3. Chop the mint and cilantro together, add to bowl with cucumber.

4. Add pomegranate seeds to bowl, toss everything to combine.

5. Season bowl with vinegar, pomegranate molasses, salt, and pepper, to taste.

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