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Sunday Dinner: Algerian Lamb Shanks with Cardamom and Orange

As a kid I was exposed to a lot of interesting foods, but for some reason I never had lamb until I was in college. These days it's one of my favorite meats, I absolutely love the sweet yet gamey taste it has. So whenever I think of slow roasted meats, my mind immediately leaps to lamb, especially since it really holds up nicely against a variety of spices, such as saffron, cardamom and curry. For tonight's Sunday Dinner I thought I'd present a recipe for Algerian Lamb Shanks with Cardamom. I am super excited to give this recipe a try - if it sounds like a good idea to you,

Algerian Lamb Shanks with Cardamom and Orange
From Williams-Sonoma

4 lamb shanks, external fat trimmed
Salt, to taste, plus 1 Tbs. salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more
for serving
1 lb. yellow onions, diced
1/4 cup peeled garlic cloves
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh ginger
2 cardamom seeds, skins removed
Pinch of saffron
1 tsp. chili flakes
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. caraway seeds
2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 Tbs. curry powder
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 cans (10 oz. each) diced plum tomatoes
1 bottle white wine
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 lb. carrots, peeled and coarsely diced
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and
coarsely diced

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  2. Generously season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. In an ovenproof deep sauté pan or Dutch oven over high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil until nearly smoking. Working in batches, brown the shanks, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter.
  3. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil, the onions and garlic to the pan and sauté, stirring, until the onions are tender and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the ginger, cardamom, saffron, chili flakes, cloves, caraway, fennel seeds, cinnamon, curry, the 1 Tbs. salt, almonds and raisins. Sauté, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, wine, orange zest and orange 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.
  4. Stir 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. Serves 4.
Join The Conversation
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
oh man lamb lamb lamb. :drool: i could do with a good lamb shank with mash right about now :drool:
MaryHmfn MaryHmfn 10 years
that looks so good. o.O ♥ MC
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
Sounds great! LOVE lamb!
Ginger Ginger 10 years
Yum! The combination of savory and sweet with meats is classic North African.You don't see a lot of Algerian recipes; mostly Moroccan food. I look forward to trying this. Sounds like it would be a good tagine dish.
Hera119 Hera119 10 years
dinner? it's more like a dessert to me
mairay mairay 10 years
Looks delicious...but I don't take much lamb. It gives me a headache.
kayleigh83 kayleigh83 10 years
Marijke - try
joyofadventure joyofadventure 10 years
yum!! i love lamb its funny because i was just talking to someone last night who has never tried it either
Fancy04 Fancy04 10 years
Looks delicious, but I don't eat lamb.
haze1nut haze1nut 10 years
omg this loooooooooooooooooks so good, pair it up with some basmati rice and chopped pistachios and a few raisins and you've got yourself a winning meal!! i'm always afraid to use lamb though, sometimes the lamb flavor is too strong but i'll have to try this out one day
marijke marijke 10 years
Can I just say, I love YUMSUGAR- the delicious recipes always make my mouth water, especially the sweet chocolatey ones! But I find it so hard to convert from Cups to Grams when I want to make any of the meals! I have such difficulty with conversions- can anyone recommend a good online conversion site? Thanks!!!
celebrity_soup celebrity_soup 10 years
:drool: sounds delicious, love all your sunday dinners yum! this ill have to try next sunday...
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