Lamb Shanks with Orange and Saffron
With the unexpected cold snap we'll all want to go back to warming and sustaining winter food. This zesty dish does the trick without being dull.
4 lamb shanks, 2 large onions, 4 untreated oranges, preferably organic, 1 lemon, 1 bunch coriander, 60g slithered almonds, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground cumin, a pinch of saffron threads, 60g golden raisins, 1 tbsp. caster sugar, 2 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper.
Mix the juice of the lemon with a tablespoon of sea salt and rub it all over the lamb shanks. Set aside for 15 minutes, then rinse off the mix and pat dry. Rinse and dry one of the oranges and finely zest the skin. Peel the onions and grate them coarsely. Mix the zest, onion, cinnamon, cumin, sugar and the oil and cover the shanks with this mixture all around. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile lightly toast the almonds in a dry frying pan. Set aside.
Brown the lamb shanks gently for 12-15 minutes in a casserole dish or a tagine with the flattened, unpeeled garlic (crush lightly with the back of a knife). Pour over the juice of the 4 oranges and add half the coriander tied together with cooking string as a bouquet. Cover and simmer for 1h30 turning the meat regularly. Remove the garlic and coriander and add the saffron and the dry raisins to the cooking liquid and cook for a further 30 minutes.
Serve hot with the toasted almonds and remaining chopped coriander scattered over the top.
Illustrations by Alice Ray