Algerian Lamb Shanks with Cardamom and Orange

Pairs Well With

Serves 4 generously


4 lamb shanks, external fat trimmed

Salt, to taste, plus 1 T Salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

1 lb yellow onions, diced

¼ c peeled garlic cloves

1 T finely chopped fresh ginger

2 cardamom seeds, skins removed

Pinch of saffron

½ t chili flakes

1 t ground cloves

1 t caraway seeds

2 t fennel seeds

½ cinnamon stick

2 T curry powder

½ c blanched slivered almonds

½ c golden raisins

2 cans (14 oz ea) diced plum tomatoes

1 bottle white wine-Pedroncelli Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc

Zest and juice of 1 orange

1 lb carrots, peeled & coarsely diced

1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and coarsely diced


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Generously season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Using an ovenproof deep sauté pan or Dutch oven heat on high and pour in 2 T olive oil and heat until smoking. Working in batches, brown the shanks, 4-5 minutes per side and transfer to a platter.

Add the remaining 2 T olive oil, the onions and garlic to the pan and sauté, stirring until the onions are tender and translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add the ginger, cardamom, saffron, chili flakes, cloves, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, curry powder, the 1 tablespoon of salt, raisins & almonds. Sauté, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, wine, orange zest and juice and stir to mix well. Submerge the shanks in the liquid and bring to a simmer. Cover, transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the meat nearly falls off the bone, about 2 hours.

Stir in the carrots and fennel bulb into the stew, cover and bake until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes more. Drizzle each serving with olive oil.