A recipe inspired by Jack Webley's adventure through into Fes, Morocco, after departing Spain with Mariana de Pineda y Muñoz's letter. There he met with the famous Abu-al-Qasim al-Zayani, who cooked a dish not to dissimilar to this. This authentic, slow cooked lamb stew is a brilliant combination of Moorish flavours, the refreshing herbal notes of the Tabbouleh offsetting the richness of the Tagine.
Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 2 hours
4 Lamb shanks
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced thickly
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or finely chopped
1 inch ginger peeled and minced or finely chopped
2 tbsp Ras-el-Hanout
2 tbsp Webley's Rose Harissa, turned into paste
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp Sweet Smoked Paprika (Paprika Dulce)
1 tsp cumin seeds
Freshly ground black pepper
1 x 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp runny honey
1/2 tsp saffron
1 litre chicken stock
85 g flaked almonds
100g dried apricots, halved
For the Tabbouleh:
5 cherry tomatoes (or another type of small tomato) cut into eights
2 tbsp coriander, chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp mint, chopped
175 g bulgar wheat
1 small red onion finely chopped
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 pomegranate, seeds only (optional but is a great addition)
Salt your lamb shanks overnight.
For the lamb tagine preheat your oven to 160℃
Heat a large casserole dish. Season the lamb shanks all over with salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and, once hot, fry the lamb shanks all over until golden-brown. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan add your chopped onion and fry for one minute before adding your garlic and ginger before frying for a further two minutes.
Grind up some cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar/ find a way to bash the seeds up to release their flavour. Turn your rose harissa into a paste by mixing one tbsp with a tsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of tomato puree and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Add the cumin, ras-el-hanout, rose harissa paste, cinnamon, smoked paprika, , freshly ground black pepper and cook for a further two minutes, ensuring the spices don't burn.
Add the lamb shanks back into the pan with the rest of the ingredients for the tagine (chicken stock, honey, tinned chopped tomatoes, saffron, almonds, sultanas and apricots).
Reduce the heat, cover the pan with a lid and cook in the oven for two hours, or until the lamb is tender. After two hours remove the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes.
For the Tabbouleh salad:
Cover the bulgar wheat with 350 ml's of water and crumble a chicken or vegetable stock cube into the pan and mix to infuse. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes over a low heat. When the bulgur wheat is tender, drain off the excess stock.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, and then transfer the bulgur wheat to a bowl. Add the diced tomatoes, red onion, pistachios, lemon juice, pomegranate, olive oil and herbs and mix well. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve the between 4 dishes.
Cooking this dish with Lamb shank really gives it a flavour boost from having the bone in. Bones of meat hold so much flavour which is why we use them to make stocks, however if you'd rather not have bone in, feel free to cube up a different cut of lamb such as neck!