Otherwise lamb shanks and vegetables with some Moroccan-influenced spicing to give it a bit of interest, which we ate with couscous.
The vegetables were onions, peppers, garlic, celery, carrots, sweet potatoes and tomatoes and I used paprika, cumin, ginger and turmeric as the spice blend and I garnished the finished dish with chopped coriander.
I took some of the broth and mixed it with some harissa paste to serve as a condiment. I think it is nice to have this separately so that each person can adjust the heat and spiciness of their own plate.
You can get harissa in a lot of places nowadays so it is worth getting some if you want a real North African kick to your dishes. If you can’t, just use chilli sauce but it won’t taste the same even though it gives the heat.
Anyway, I coloured the lamb shanks in some olive oil and set them aside while I softened the onions, diced celery, chopped tomatoes and carrots and crushed garlic before adding in the spices and returning the lamb shanks to the pan.
I then added in some vegetable stock, made with Marigold vegetable stock powder, which is a brilliant store cupboard essential as far as I am concerned, and simmered the whole dish until the lamb was nearly tender. At this point I added in some diced sweet potato and carried on cooking until this was done and the meat was ready.
Couscous is easy to do, you just add boiling water to a bowl with some couscous in it, stir in a good glug of olive oil and cover with clingfilm until all the water has been absorbed. Then you just fluff it up with a fork and use it.
A nice hearty dish and one that cries out for a big red wine.
We had a bottle of 2007 Saint-Pantaléon-les-Vignes Réserve, a Côtes du Rhône Villages wine which has had 12 months ageing in oak casks and is a blend of 40% Syrah and 60% Grenache.
A rich, spicy wine, it has had the tannins softened by the time in oak and has a lovely softness which should develop further over the next couple of years.