Lamb shanks in pome­gran­ate syrup with aubergine cous cous

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - FOOD -

WHAT YOU’LL NEED 2 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, thinly sliced 5 cloves 1 cin­na­mon stick 3 star anise 1 tbsp fen­nel seeds 1 tsp chilli flakes 2 thumb-sized pieces of gin­ger, un­peeled 4 French-trimmed lamb shanks (about 200-250g each) 3 dried limes 120g dates 2 tbsp pome­gran­ate mo­lasses Few pome­gran­ate seeds, to gar­nish For the cous­cous: 200g cous­cous 1 x 400g tin chick­peas, rinsed and drained 250ml hot beef stock 4 tbsp olive oil 1 medium aubergine, cut into small cubes Juice of 1/2 lemon 1/2 bunch of flat-leaf pars­ley, chopped Salt, to taste METHOD 1. Heat the olive oil in a deep casse­role dish and fry the onion over a medium heat for about five min­utes or un­til golden. Add the cloves, cin­na­mon, star anise, fen­nel seeds, chilli flakes and gin­ger. Cook them gen­tly for a minute (don’t let them burn). 2. Add the lamb shanks to the pan and brown them in the onions and spices, turn­ing to brown all sides. Fi­nally, add the dried limes and dates to the casse­role dish with just enough warm wa­ter to cover the shanks (about 900ml). In­crease the heat to bring the mix­ture to the boil, then cover with a lid and re­duce the heat to medium-low. Al­low the lamb to sim­mer for about two hours, or un­til it is ten­der to touch and prac­ti­cally fall­ing off the bone. 3. Re­move the casse­role dish from the heat and al­low to cool slightly. Gen­tly re­move the lamb shanks from the casse­role dish with a slot­ted spoon and set aside. Strain the liq­uid in the casse­role dish through a sieve, dis­card­ing the whole spices. Re­turn the strained liq­uid to the casse­role dish, add the pome­gran­ate mo­lasses and sea­son to taste with salt. Place back over a medium heat to re­duce the liq­uid to a sauce with the con­sis­tency of dou­ble cream. 4. Put the cous­cous and drained chick­peas into a bowl. Bring the stock to a boil and sea­son with salt, then pour over the cous­cous. Cover the bowl with cling film and al­low to stand for 15 min­utes. 5. Heat half the olive oil in a fry­ing pan over a medium-high heat and add the aubergine cubes. Fry for about five min­utes, or un­til they have caramelised and soft­ened. Fluff the cous­cous grains us­ing a fork and driz­zle with the re­main­ing olive oil and the lemon juice. Mix the fried aubergine into the cous­cous to­gether with the pars­ley. 6. Re­turn the lamb shanks to the sauce and heat through gen­tly. Serve with the cous­cous, gar­nished with the re­main­ing pome­gran­ate seeds, if you like. SERVES 4

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