Mrouzia (Honey-Braised Lamb Shanks)2013-06-10
Lamb shanks are braised for hours in a sumptuous sauce of honey, almonds, and raisins in this centuries-old Moroccan dish served at the restaurant Mansouria.
¼ olive oil
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 lamb shanks, frenched, if desired
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 cup golden raisins
2 tbsp. ras el hanout (recipe below)
¼ tsp. crushed saffron threads
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup blanched whole almonds
⅔ cup honey
Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
1. Heat oil and butter in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season lamb generously with salt and pepper, and cook, turning as needed, until well browned all over, about 12 minutes. Transfer lamb to a plate; set aside.
2. Add onion to pot, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add raisins, ras el hanout, saffron, and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add lamb, almonds, honey, and 3 cups water, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook, partially covered, until lamb is very tender, about 3½ hours. Divide shanks and sauce among serving plates, and sprinkle each with sesame seeds.
Ras el Hanout (North African Spice Mix)
MAKES 1 CUP
3 tbsp. whole allspice
3 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
3 tbsp. coriander seeds
2 tbsp. whole cloves
2 tbsp. cumin seeds
5 sticks cinnamon, broken into 1″ pieces
2 tbsp. ground ginger
1½ tbsp. ground cayenne
Working in batches, grind allspice, peppercorns, coriander, cloves, cumin, and cinnamon separately in a spice grinder until finely ground; transfer spices to a bowl, and stir in ginger and cayenne. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.