My good friend and old roommate shared many scrumptious, rich and hearty dinners with me while we lived together. I remember meeting my potential new apartment and roommate for the first time and being offered the most wonderful slice of cheese while I was there. Maggie really knew the way to my heart and we became great friends after that. Possibly one of the best stranger-to-roommate living situations ever to exist! 🙂

She came over for dinner and naturally, I was inspired to make something hearty and satisfying. Along with the chili and jambalaya, this may be my favorite slow cooker recipe yet! Maggie brought over a yummy tomato-cucumber salad, bursting with the perfect touch of a lemon-olive oil dressing, and I also threw in a spiced pine-nut-couscous.

Slow Cooked Braised Lamb Shanks

  • 1 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 6 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 to 6 pounds lamb shanks (preferably not trimmed of fat)
  • 15 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch slices
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 heaping tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

In a small bowl mix the red wine, broth, mustard, salt, and pepper and place in slow cooker. Brown lamb in pan and then layer the shanks in the slow cooker so they fit. Scatter the remaining ingredients around and on the shanks. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Use tongs to reverse the position of the shanks, top to bottom. Reduce the setting to LOW and cook for an additional 4 hours.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shanks to a serving platter. Skim the fat from the cooking juices, taste, and add salt and pepper, if needed. Pour the juices, carrots and onions over the shanks, and serve.

Spiced Couscous with Toasted Pine Nuts

1 cup couscous
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp white wine
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
1 cup toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper, to taste

Bring chicken broth, white wine and olive oil to boil. Stir in couscous and remove from heat. Cover promptly for 10 minutes.

Fluff couscous with fork and add spices and pine nuts. Stir to combine.