Lamb Shank Tagine

(2 Servings)

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

This is one of my favorite recipes and I have been itching to get to Moroccan cuisine month to cook and post this recipe. I bought two beautiful lamb shanks at my neighborhood local and sustainable Hudson & Charles butcher on the Upper West side and knew exactly which dish I was gonna cook up. If you do not have an authentic clay tagine at home don’t worry you can follow the same recipe with an oven resistant covered cookware. After cooking for 3 hours the meat just falls off the bone and the harissa adds the perfect level of spice. This dish is great to share with family and pairs best with couscous, rise or bread (Indian roti or Moroccan msemen).


  • 2 lamb shank
  • 1 no. medium sized onion (chopped fine)
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 5 no. cloves
  • 2 no. cardamom
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbs. coriander powder
  • 1 tbs. cumin powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. harissa
  • 1 potato cubed
  • 6 no. dried apricots
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chick peas
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper


Preheat oven to 300 F.

Heat 2 tbs. of olive oil in a casserole on medium heat and add the whole spices (cloves, cardamom and cinnamon) along with the chopped onions. Sautee for about 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown and add the chopped garlic and a little salt. The salt lets the onions breathe and cook better. Prep the lamb shank to remove excess fat.

Insert a paring knife along the bone near the top of the narrow end of the shank; slide the knife upwards to sever the tendon attached to this portion of the bone. Repeat as you work your way entirely around the bone. Cutting the tendons like this allows the meat to shrink away from this part of the shank, making for a neater, more attractive presentation.

Add in the lamb shanks to the casserole and brown (About ten minutes) and set aside. Now add in the tomatoes, coriander and cumin powder and harissa and cook till the water from tomatoes is evaporated.  Transfer all the ingredients from the casserole to the tagine and also add back the lamb shanks. If you do not have a tagine you can continue this recipe with a casserole. Add in about 1 to 1/12 cup of water so as to submerge about 3/4th of the meatier portion of the lamb shank. Close and place in oven.

Let the meat cook for about an hour and a half. At this point open and add the cubed potatoes and apricots and continue cooking for another hour. Add in the spinach and chickpeas and cook for an additional half hour. Adjust for salt and pepper. The meat at this point should be almost falling off the bones.

Just perfect! Top with chopped coriander and serve with either couscous or msemen/roti.

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