First, it’s not very popular so there isn’t a ton of recipes using it...or instructions for how to not screw it up. It also can be pretty expensive so a lot of people choose to leave it to the pros.
recipe is really simple to make and should give you the confidence you need to make a great lamb dinner.
For starters, it’s important to pick the right cut of lamb for the dish you are making. Keep in mind that your selection of lamb might be limited, but at a minimum you should be able to find ground lamb, some sort of lamb chop, and some sort of lamb shank. You wouldn’t want to use the first two for this dish. They are better for high heat, grilled dishes.
Lamb shanks, however, are perfect. They are large and have lots of connective tissue, which will break down as the meat cooks slowly. These lamb shanks might look really big, but they’ll shrink a bit as they cook. Each shank will definitely feed two people though!
You should just throw these into the slow cooker, but it’s a good idea to brown them a bit to give them more flavor. Just drizzle the shanks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then brown them in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Turn them every few minutes so they brown evenly. After about 10 minutes you should have some nicely browned shanks.
Remove the shanks from the pan and add the onions and peppers.
You’ll also need some good spices for this dish. I added some classic spices that go well with lamb: cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes.
Stir these into the pan along with the tomatoes. You could either use Muir Glen's organic diced tomatoes or something like Progresso's Recipe Starter Fire Roasted Tomato sauce.
Add your lamb shanks to the slow cooker, along with all the stuff from the pan plus a few cups of water. You can either cook this on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
While the shanks cook slowly, chop up a lemon and season it with salt and sugar. This is sort of a quick way to make preserved lemons.
When the lamb is basically done, after it has cooked for many hours, stir in the other ingredients: olives, beans, raisins, and half of the preserved lemons. This really brings a lot of flavor to the party.
Cook this for another hour or two and it’s ready to go! I recommend serving it over couscous with extra preserved lemon on top.
As you can see, the shanks are fall-apart tender. The whole dish has amazing flavor.
If lamb is new to you, find some shanks and make this dish! It’s almost impossible to mess up and is very impressive.