Zanzibar Café’s Middle Eastern Lamb Shanks

by Suzanne Heron.

Dust 8 lamb shanks with cornstarch or flour.  Brown in thick-bottomed pan over medium high heat, season with salt & pepper and put in deep baking dish. Deglaze pan by briefly boiling 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar.  Lower heat to medium.  Add 2 medium yellow onions, sliced thinly, 2 tsp Ras-al–Hanout spice blend, 1 pinch red chili flakes, 2 cinnamon sticks and 1 tsp fennel seed. Lightly brown the onions. Add 1 large tin diced tomatoes, 3 Tbsp tomato paste & 2 cups water or stock. Bring to simmer & add 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 bay leaves, and salt & pepper to taste. Thicken sauce with 2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup water. Pour over shanks, add water if needed. Cover dish first with parchment paper and seal with tin foil. Bake @ 325 for 2.5 hours or until meat falls off bone. ENJOY!

Chef Mohamed Dhairi, Zanzibar Café, 1164 Stellys X Rd, Brentwood Bay, 250-544-1475. French/ Italian-trained Mo came from  Algeria when he met his wife Toni, 5th generation Islander.