The slow cooker slowly braises these lemon cinnamon scented lamb shanks and renders them utterly delicious and totally tender.
- 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 lamb shanks (about 3 ½ pounds)
- 1 large onion, white or yellow
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
- 2 cups water
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 ½ -inch wide by 2 inch long strip of lemon peel made with vegetable peeler
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- lemon zest and wedges for serving
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb shanks and sear, turning occasionally until browned on all sides, 5 to 7minutes. Transfer to the insert of a large slow cooker.
- Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the skillet and add onion, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring often until the onion is browning, 4 to 6minutes. Add saffron, cinnamon and cayenne and stir to coat. Add water and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from the skillet. Pour the onion mixture over the lamb shanks. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, honey and lemon peel. Cover and set slow cooker to low for 6 hours. Remove meat from lamb shanks and stir into chickpea soup. Ladle into 6 bowls. For 4 (more generous portions) serve shanks whole in a pasta bowl with 1 ½ cup soup ladled on top. Garnish with parsley, lemon zest and lemon wedges.
Makes 24 ounces cooked lamb and 6 cups chickpea soup.
- Serving Size: 1 1/2 cup each