- 1½ tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 2 lamb shanks
A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…
- 3 onions, sliced
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp each cumin and coriander seeds, crushed
The small, creamy brown seeds of the coriander plant give dishes a warm, aromatic and slightly…
- pinch of chilli flakes
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 4 dried apricots, chopped
A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety…
- 4 dried figs, chopped
Although not juicy, the fig is an incredibly luscious fruit, with a delicate aroma and sweet…
- handful coriander, chopped
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Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Add 1 tbsp oil to a small, tight-lidded casserole and brown shanks for a couple of mins, turning as you go. Remove and set aside.
Add remaining oil and onions to the pan and cook for about 10 mins until soft. Add garlic and spices and cook for 4 mins more. Tip in tomatoes and stock, then nestle the shanks back in on their sides. Bring to a boil, cover and put in the oven. Cook for 2 hrs: turn the shanks now and then.
Remove the lid and stir through the molasses, apricots and figs. Cook, uncovered, for 30 mins more or until the meat is falling away from the bone.
Remove shanks from the dish and wrap in foil to keep warm. Put the dish back onto the heat and cook down the juices until thick and saucy. Season, then serve the shanks, scattered with coriander, alongside the rice (see 'Goes well with', right).
If you want to use a slow cooker
Brown your shanks in a frying pan with the oil for a couple of minutes then place in the slow cooker with all the other ingredients except coriander. Cover and cook on Low for 9-10 hours. Take out the lamb then finish off the sauce in a pan on the hob according to step 4, above.
Start with spinach houmous
Very gently fry ¼ tsp ground cumin and 1 crushed garlic clove in 1 tbsp olive oil for 2 mins, before tipping in 100g bag baby spinach. Cook until just wilted. Squeeze out all the excess liquid, then blitz with 6 tbsp ready-made houmous and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with toasted pitta and carrot sticks.