Lamb Shanks Marrakesh – Success Has Many Fathers

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. 

A cold Irish garden in winer could not be further from Marrakesh.


  • 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.

Honey spiced lamb shanks (7 of 13)

There is lots and lots of Moroccan flavour in the Lamb Marrakesh.

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.

Honey spiced lamb shanks (3 of 13)

It really doesn’t matter what order you add the ingredients. The eagle eyed will notice my error…

Place the lamb shanks in a 160ºC oven for six hours. Turn them once or twice during the process.

Honey spiced lamb shanks (9 of 13)

Half way to Marrakesh. The shanks are about half done.

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.

Honey spiced lamb shanks (11 of 13)

These make for a truly Arabesque accompaniment for the lamb.

Drain the liquid and put through a separator. This will remove the excess fat.

Honey spiced lamb shanks (10 of 13)

A quick pour through a sieve will do no harm either.

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.

Honey spiced lamb shanks (13 of 13)

Though I’ve never been there, I present you with GenuineLamb Marrakesh.

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….


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Latest comments
  • Looks meltingly delicious. Expect widespread plagiarism.

  • Looks great and has a nice catchy name. As long as you don’t call it Lamb Tetouan – that den of thieves is the closest I’ve ever been to the Mos Eisley spaceport from Star Wars.

  • What is that extremely posh device attached to the lamb bone? A little trifle you snapped up in the souk? Yummy lamb, sir, and you’ll undoubtedly have your rippers-off, plagiarists, copyright infringers and unabashed direct copiers, but we know where we saw it first.

      • I’ve always admired your props, and especially so now that I know how well-considered they are! A bit of silver is SO much more elegant than the folded paper towel to be seen in Chiconia when it’s lamb shank time…

  • Would you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express.
    That looks like delicious lamb!
    Apparently cats can have many fathers.

      • All on board the train…

  • This makes me think again that I might want to raise a lamb or two on my farm in the future…

  • Conor, like you I too have never been to this beautiful country (and I happily can get lost for the day in a Souk) and so I sit on the magic Irish carpet and let your amazing dish take me over there. And should I ever be able to get my butcher to find some shanks for me may I call your dish in my house only “Conor’s Magic Shanks” – thanks Conor😊😊😊

  • This looks amazing! Guess we both had the craving for lamb this week! 🙂

      • lol As we do differ many times, the only possible conclusion is that we are indeed great minds! 🙂

  • And you were mad about people stealing your stuff before! 😉 The silver bone cover is much nicer than the usual pantaloons that get shoved over the ends of bones.

    This dish looks absolutely divine! I love lamb shanks. I haven’t made them in a long time, but you’ve given me inspiration. The couscous also looks fantastic. I’d love to know how you prepared it.

  • Now I know why my hands reached for the lamb shanks in the freezer last night, tho’ what I can buy in the supermarket here looks skinny and plain scrawny next to good old Irish lamb with all that meat on it! Appetizing recipe I was also going to rename until Carina got ahead of me, but ‘Conor’s shanks’ will be printed on top of the printout for sure . . .

      • Thank you for my glorious morning laugh! Uhuh – glad someone is making me think ere I print 🙂 !!

  • My only exposure to Morocco and its cuisine has been in the confines of the Disney EPCOT Center in Florida, in the aptly named Restaurant Marrakesh. They came very close to plagiarizing your concept with their Couscous with Lamb Shank entree, but thank goodness the publishing of this will quell any attempts of theirs to rename the dish and steal your method. I mean its obvious yours is authentic. Knowing Disney it’s probably beef shanks anyways. Come on, they offer fried chicken tenders and hamburgers on the kid’s menu! 😮

  • You’ve claimed well!

  • I call mine Moroccan lamb shanks and when I try your version, I’ll definitely give you credit for lamb shanks Marrakesh. I’ve never cooked my shanks that long and must give your method a try as they look absolutely delicious.

  • Very Conoresque, if I may say so. The choice of ingredients, the photography, the storytelling, and let’s not forget the pouring shots.
    By the way, Marrakesh is south of Dublin and west of Amsterdam 🙂

  • Another success in the kitchen. Apricots li like with this dish. I would have used sliced almonds –easier to eat–I hope I have not breached your recipe. ◔‿◔ Looks Lovely as usual!

      • Yes but the skin is slightly bitter. what I sometimes do is toast the almonds gently. An extra effort, but I think the flavour is enhanced.

  • As always, you have captured it well. Your creativity abound.

  • Gorgeous your BLOG !!! I’m following!!! Follow mine too !!!! Kisses !!!

  • I loved your BLOG !!! Very good!!! Kisses!!!

  • This dish sounds wonderful, Conor, and I’m very tempted to give it a go — without the almonds, as I’m sure you’d understand.

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