Ygael’s Harissa is far and away the best I’ve ever tasted – you know when a company only creates one product that they’re confident in its distinction. I’ve been adding it to everything from sandwiches to stews but I knew that it would find its true mate with lamb. The heat mellows with the braising to a multi layered warmth that feels both exotic and homey at the same time. This is a dish that takes a little forethought but hardly any effort and will have your home so filled with the aromas of North Africa that you will wonder why you keep looking up flights to Marrakech.
Harissa Braised Lamb Shanks
2 lamb shanks
2 tablespoons Harissa
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch carrots, peeled
1 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
Pomegranate seeds and fresh mint for serving
1. Make several small 1-inch-deep slits in lamb with a paring knife, then rub harissa over entire surface of lamb, pushing some into slits. Season with salt then marinate lamb, loosely covered, at room temperature for at least 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. In a large Dutch oven that fits the shanks in one layer, heat the olive oil and brown the shanks on all sides, approximately 5 minutes total. Remove to a platter.
4. Next, add the carrots and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, making sure to scrape up any of the browned bits with a wooden spatula to blend with the sauce.
5. Return the shanks to the Dutch oven, add the stock and cover with a tight fitting lid before transferring to the oven to cook for 2½ hours. Turn the shanks at least once during the braising. The meat is ready when it’s falling off the bone.
6. To finish the sauce, remove the carrots and shanks to a serving platter and set the pot on a high heat to reduce. Reduce the sauce by half before pouring over the meat and vegetables.
7. To finish, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and fresh mint leaves and serve with couscous with pistachios and cilantro.