Braised Lamb Shanks with Couscous and Zucchini

Chef Papa

4

Description: My family ate lamb growing up, so I was never nervous to take on this less common meat. Once I married a Greek girl, I knew I had to step up my game. Greeks basically eat lamb at every meal, rightfully so since lamb done properly is amazing. On the flip side, it is no “chicken” you can’t throw something together and hope it tastes ok. Way less room for error. I’ve come up with a full proof lamb recipe that has potential to impress even your Greek friends.
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Serves: 6
Time: 6 h 30 m (30 m prep, 6 h cook)

Ingredients:
(Ingredients and measurements subject to availability)

Lamb:

  1. 4 lamb shanks (~2 lbs)
  2. 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  3. 1 tbsp. onion powder
  4. 2 tsp thyme
  5. 2 tsp oregano
  6. 2 tsp basil
  7. 2 lemons, juiced
  8. 2 tbsps. cracked pepper*
  9. 6 tbsps. olive oil*
  10. 1 large onion, diced
  11. 6 oz. tomato paste
  12. 6 garlic cloves, pressed
  13. 2 stalks celery, diced
  14. 4-5 cups of chicken broth

Couscous:

  1. 2 cups dried couscous prepared (substitute chicken broth for water. A way to make much more flavorful) Follow box instructions for other preparations
  2. 2 cups chicken broth
  3. 4 zucchinis, sliced and quartered
  4. 4 oz. sliced Kalamata olives
  5. 12 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
  6. 5 oz. crumbled feta
  7. 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  8. 1 tbsp. onion powder
  9. 2 tsp salt*
  10. 2 tbsp. fresh cracked pepper*
  11. 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp. olive oil*

*Not provided:
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Equipment:
Baking Sheet
Instructions:

Lamb:

  1. Preheat oven to 250
  2. First step is to marinate the lamb. Any amount of time you can give it would be good.  4 hours to overnight is best.
  3. Combine 2 tbsps. olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, tsp thyme, tsp oregano, tsp basil, lemon juice, 1 tbsp. cracked pepper in a large plastic baggy then mix. Place lamb shanks in the bag and mix. 
  4. Searing the lamb shanks first before braising will help lock in some of the marinade flavor. (This step can be skipped in a time crunch)
  5. Place 2 tbsp. olive oil in an oven friendly pot (I used cast iron) on medium heat. Once ready place each lamb shank in the pot to cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. Add 2 tbsp. of olive oil to the pot with diced onion, pressed garlic, diced celery, tsp thyme, tsp basil, tsp oregano, and 1 tbsp. fresh cracked pepper. Let them sweat about 15-20 minutes.
  8. Add tomato paste, chicken broth, and mix thoroughly.
  9. Add lamb shanks. May add more chicken broth if needed to submerge the shanks enough to just have the tops showing
  10. Bring to a boil, place the lid on and into the oven for about 3 hours

 Couscous:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Line baking sheet with foil and spray Pam
  3. In a large bowl combine and mix sliced quartered zucchinis, 1 tbsp. olive oil, garlic powder, and onion powder. Place evenly on baking sheet. 
  4. Bake for 12 minutes and set aside.

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