This Moroccan recipe for cooking lamb shank is quite delicious and practically cooks itself. According to Sam Clark in Casa Moro, this Marrakech speciality is very popular during Ramadan, when it cooks slowly in the hot ashes around the hamman or steam bath, waiting paitently to be devoured once the sun goes down! In addition to tasting great, lamb shanks are also really cheap. Like a lot of the cheaper cuts, they are particularly suited to slow cooking as in this dish, which cooks over six hours.

Note: This also works well with shoulder of lamb cut into a few smaller pieces.


Makes: 4 portions
Preparation: 30mins
Cooking: 6 hours


1 tbsp
1-2 bulbs
3 tbsp
Lamb shanks on the bone
Preserved lemons
Cumin seeds
Coriander (chopped)
Butter (soft)
A little water


Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place the cumin in a dry pan and heat gently until it releases it aroma, then grind. Remove the flesh from the preserved lemons, chop roughly and wash off excess salt. Peel the onions and chop roughly. Take the skins off the garlic cloves and chop each into two or three pieces. Place the onions, garlic, cumin, coriander and preserved lemon into a food processor and whizz. Add the butter and some salt and pepper. Add just enough of the water to make the mixture into a thick paste.

Place the lamb shanks into a large ovenproof dish or pot. Cover well with the paste. Cut some baking paper to a size a little bigger than the pot. Place this on the lamb and press down firmly to seal the space so that no steam can escape. Seal the pot with foil and if you have a lid place this on top. The whole idea is that the container is well sealed so that the meat can cook in the steam and its own juices.

Place into the oven and after 5 minutes reduce the temperature to 140ºC. Now just wait 5 to 6 hours and let the oven do the work. At this stage the meat will be falling off the bone.

Enjoy with some flat bread or couscous and some Moroccan Carrot Salad

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