Lamb shanks are braised for hours in a sumptuous sauce of honey, almonds, and raisins in this centuries-old Moroccan dish served at the restaurant Mansouria. This recipe first appeared in our November 2012 issue along with Jay Cheshes’s story Couscous Royale.
- 1⁄4 olive oil
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 lamb shanks, frenched, if desired
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 2 tbsp. ras el hanout (available at The Spice House, or make your own)
- 1⁄4 tsp. crushed saffron threads
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 cup blanched whole almonds
- 2⁄3 cup honey
- Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
- Heat oil and butter in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season lamb generously with salt and pepper, and cook, turning as needed, until well browned all over, about 12 minutes. Transfer lamb to a plate; set aside.
- Add onion to pot, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add raisins, ras el hanout, saffron, and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add lamb, almonds, honey, and 3 cups water, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook, partially covered, until lamb is very tender, about 3 1⁄2 hours. Divide shanks and sauce among serving plates, and sprinkle each with sesame seeds.