Moroccan Lamb Shanks with Chickpeas and Dates
- 1/2 cup dried chickpeas
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- Ground cloves
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 lamb shanks
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 5 cups water
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 cup chopped dates
- 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
Soak chickpeas overnight covered in cold water by 2 inches. Drain.
In a mortar, mash garlic, paprika, ginger, coriander, nutmeg, lemon juice, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and a pinch of cloves with a pestle until a thick paste forms.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Cook until golden on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer lamb to a plate.
Add onion and celery to pot, and cook until light gold, about 5 minutes. Stir in spice paste, and cook 2 minutes. Add chickpeas and water, reduce heat to medium-low, season with salt, and gently simmer for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Add lamb and cinnamon stick to pot, and return to a simmer. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until lamb is fork-tender, about 2 hours and 45 minutes. Add dates, and cook for 15 minutes. Skim fat from sauce, and discard. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.