Lamb shanks offer great value for money, are quick to prepare and can be left to simmer for a couple of hours to produce a rich, succulent dish.
Brown the lamb shanks in the oil in a large pan. Remove them and set aside while you fry the spices lightly in the oil. Add the onion and fry with the spices for 4–5 minutes, then put back the lamb shanks. Add the tomatoes, salt and enough stock or water almost to cover the shanks. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a heat diffuser or in the oven
Lift the shanks out of the pan carefully; the meat will be loose on the bone. Put them in a covered bowl while you boil the cooking liquid on the stove to reduce it slightly and then blend it to make a sauce. Strain it into the rinsed-out pan, put back the lamb and reheat gently if necessary.
Serve with Soft Polenta, potatoes or couscous and a bowl of harissa.
© 2005 Jill Norman. All rights reserved.