How do great recipes get their titles? Eggs Benedict is claimed by various New York establishments. Sole Meunière (meaning “in the manner of the miller’s wife”) is claimed by a few. Don’t get me going on the origins of the Beef Wellington. It seems that if somebody manages to prepare a half decent recipe, there will be a queue at the kitchen door waiting to take the praise. But, when you burn the base of the meat and get your vegetables watery, you’re on your own. Culinary failure, like all others, is a pathetic, underfed orphan.
I’m not taking any chances on this one. I’m claiming Lamb Shanks Marrakesh for myself. It’s not unlike, yet is not the same as, Moroccan Lamb Shanks. They can be fairly general in description. It seems that anything that has a few almonds and a spoon of honey can be called “Moroccan”. I was going to commandeer Casablanca for this one. But, the movie business has done it to death already.
So, when you see Lamb Shanks Marrakesh on a menu, you will know from where they hale.
- 6 lamb shanks
- 3 large onions
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon of chopped, dried apricots
- 2 tablespoons of almonds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 500 ml of lamb stock (or chicken stock)
Lay the lamb shanks in an ovenproof dish. Chop the onions into eights. Add the cinnamon stick, almonds, apricots and onions to the lamb shanks.
Mix the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour over the shanks and toss to cover everything. well. Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Place the lamb shanks in a 160ºC oven for six hours. Turn them once or twice during the process.
When the shanks are cooked completely (almost falling off the bone, or even falling off the bone), remove them and wrap in foil to keep warm. Spoon out the onions, almonds and apricots.
Drain the liquid and put through a separator. This will remove the excess fat.
Reduce the sauce to a thick gravy. Season (I doubt it will need any seasoning BTW) to taste. Serve with the reserved apricots, onions and almonds. I served it with a pearl couscous too, just to keep the Marrakesh theme going. I believe they eat little else over there.
Even though I have never been in a Moroccan souk, this dish has the power to transport you, as if by magic carpet, to a mysterious part of the East. Lamb Shanks Marrakesh is a many fathered success, for sure. Numerous will claim it for their own. You know where you saw it first….