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Recipe for Moroccan Braised Lamb Shanks

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 onion, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

2 (1 pound) lamb shanks

1 (14.4 ounce) can chopped canned tomatoes

1 1/4 cups chopped dried apricots

1 1/2 teaspoons harissa

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons slivered almonds

1 cup quick-cooking couscous

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and cook until they release their aroma for about 1 minute. Stir in the onions, garlic, and sweet potatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so potatoes don’t stick. Put the lamb shanks in the pot and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, apricots, and harissa. Season with salt and pepper. If mixture seems a bit dry, add a splash of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover. Simmer until meat is tender and falling off the bone, one hour or more, depending on the size of the shanks. Stir occasionally. 

Heat a small skillet over low heat and add the slivered almonds. Stir and cook until almonds are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Place couscous in a large bowl and slowly pour in lukewarm water until just covered. Let sit until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Toss couscous with 2 tablespoons olive oil and toasted almonds. Transfer to a serving dish. Spoon the lamb over the couscous and serve. Serves 2.

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About John DeMers

I've been a journalist and author forever. My favorite single word in the English language is "foodandwine." This spirit drives my 45 published books and my weekly radio show heard in Houston, Dallas and Austin.

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