This recipe first appeared in Lyndey Milan The Best Collection and is one of my favourite savoury ways to use quinces which have just started appearing at the market. The fragrant quince marries so well with sweet lamb and the aroma during the long slow cooking will waft enticingly through your house.
Moroccan lamb shanks with quinces
Serves: 8 or 4 very hungry people
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: Up to 8 hours
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 lamb shanks (French trimmed)
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons cinnamon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 x 810 g tin good quality tomatoes
400ml beef, veal or lamb stock
1½ cups couscous
1½ cups boiling chicken stock or water
zest of 1 orange
¼ cup currants
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
1/3 cup toasted flaked almonds
Cut the onions into quarters or eighths and place on the base of an oven tray with a little olive oil. Place in the oven while it heats to 220°C (200°C fan-forced).
Meanwhile, rub the lamb shanks with the mixed dry spices. When the oven is hot, place the shanks in the pan on top of the onion and cook for 15–20 minutes, turning over half way (they can also be placed in a slow cooker). Add the ginger, garlic, tomatoes, stock and the quinces scrubbed, cored and cut into eighths. Cover carefully with a double layer of foil. (You can even seal it with a flour and water paste if you like.) Immediately lower the oven to 80°–100°C and leave in the oven for up to 8 hours.
Pour boiling stock or water over couscous, cover and leave 5 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and mix through remaining ingredients.
Serve lamb shanks with quinces with couscous.
Wine match: Moroccan spices find a wonderful synergy with cabernet sauvignon and cabernet blends, as long as there is not too much chilli heat.
Lyndey Milan, Australian home cook hero, combines a thirst for life and a sense of fun with a love of good food and sparkling shiraz. A familiar face on television and in print, she been instrumental in changing the way Australians think and feel about food and wine for over twenty five years.