Lamb Shanks With Caramelized Onions

Lamb Shanks With Caramelized Onions

“Crafting Couscous: No Grain, No Gain” via The New York Times


6 lamb shanks, about 1 pound each
Coarse kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 large onions, halved root to stem and thinly sliced
Pinch of saffron threads
1 cup Moroccan Jewish tanzeya (see recipe)
1 cup blanched whole almonds, toasted


  1. Sprinkle lamb shanks with salt to taste; if using kosher lamb, less salt will be needed. In a large, wide casserole with a lid, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches, brown lamb shanks on all sides. Transfer lamb to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add onions to pan and sauté until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until onions are very soft, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 275 degrees.
  3. Mix saffron with 1/4 cup water and add to pan. Stir to mix well, 2 to 3 minutes. Add lamb to the onions and mix well. Cover and transfer to oven. Bake until lamb is very tender, about 2 hours.
  4. Stir 1 cup of the tanzeya into onions. Return pan to the oven and bake, covered, until mixture is reheated, about 15 minutes. Garnish with toasted almonds and serve by itself or over couscous.