Spice Roasted Lamb Shanks with Herb, Date and Preserved Lemon Salad

, from Issue #79. July, 2018
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Spice Roasted Lamb Shanks with Herb, Date and Preserved Lemon Salad

Nothing says weekend more than lamb shanks. Baked with sweet spices and tomatoes, they get topped with a fresh and tart herb salad to cut through their richness.

Serves: 4


4 lamb shanks
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, thickly sliced
2 teaspoons each ground cumin and smoked paprika
1 teaspoon each ground turmeric and ground ginger
2 teaspoons whole caraway seeds
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
2 cinnamon sticks
3 cloves garlic, crushed
400-gram tin crushed Italian tomatoes
1 cup good-quality beef stock
sea salt and ground pepper
To serve
Herb, Date and Preserved Lemon Salad

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 pieces (3 quarters) preserved lemon, flesh removed, peel thinly sliced
6 fresh dates, pitted, quartered
⅓ cup roasted, skin-on almonds, roughly chopped
½ cup each picked mint, parsley and coriander leaves
2 teaspoons olive oil
sea salt and ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 150°C fan bake.

Season the shanks generously with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Brown the shanks on all sides then transfer to a large baking dish.

Add the onions to the pan with a pinch of salt and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in all the spices and the garlic, adding a splash of water if the pan is dry. Cook for 2 minutes then add the tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Season then tip over the lamb shanks. Cover with a piece of baking paper then with foil or a lid to seal tightly.

Bake for 3 hours until the meat is very tender when pierced with a skewer, carefully turning the shanks halfway through cooking.

To serve: Divide the shanks and sauce between serving bowls and top each one with a pile of the herb salad. Serves 4.

Herb, Date and Preserved Lemon Salad: Heat the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When boiling, remove from heat and stir

in the onion. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally until the onions turn bright pink.

Combine all the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and drizzle over the oil. Drain the onions well and pat dry on paper towels. Toss through the salad and season with a grind of pepper. Makes 2 cups.