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Lamb Shank Mechoui with Mina Green Harissa Fennel and Herb Slaw and Whole Wheat Citrus Couscous
serves 4

Lamb Shank Mechoui Green Harissa SlawINGREDIENTS

Lamb Shank Mechoui

  • 1 tablespoon ras-el-hanout
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, whole
  • 2 cups beef broth (low-sodium and organic if possible)
  • 1 small bunch mint
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 1 small bunch thyme

Citrus Couscous

  • 2 cups whole wheat couscous
  • The zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • The zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt

Green Harissa Slaw

  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Mina green harissa
  • The seeds from 1 pomegranate (optional)

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  In a small bowl, mix together the ras-el-hanout and cumin.  Season the lamb with salt and pepper, and the spice blend.  In a heavy, wide braising pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.  Sear the lamb to a light golden brown on all sides.  Add the garlic, the beef broth, 1 cup water, and the small bunches of mint, cilantro, and thyme.  Bring the broth to a boil.  Cover, and place in the oven for 3 hours.

To make the couscous, boil 2 cups of water.  In a bowl, stir together the couscous, lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt.  Top with the water, and cover the bowl with a lid, plate, or plastic wrap—anything so the steam can’t escape.  Let sit 5-6 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Next, make the slaw.  Put the mint, cilantro, fennel, scallions (I slice the fennel and scallions with the thin slicing disc on a food processor, but you could also use a mandoline or a knife), olive oil, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and the harissa in a bowl, and toss to combine just before serving.  Decant into a serving bowl and top with the pomegranate seeds if using.

Bring the lamb mechoui, steaming, to the table, along with the bowls of fluffy, bright couscous and the crisp, hot slaw.  I serve with Greek or natural yogurt and more Mina green harissa on the table.  Let everyone build his or her own Moroccan feast.  Regale yourself.

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