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Michael Crichton/The Globe and Mail

Servings: 4

Ready time: 4 1/2 hours

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

4 lamb shanks (approximately 1 pound each)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon salted butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped

2 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 cups Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon harissa paste

5 cups beef stock

2 small preserved lemons, flesh removed, each zest sliced into sixths

Pinch saffron

12 pitted prunes

2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Method

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Heat oil in a large tagine over medium-high heat. Season shanks with salt and pepper and brown them well on all sides, working in two batches if necessary. Set aside.

Add butter to hot pan. Stir in garlic, onions, squash and Jerusalem artichokes. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables start to soften and onions become translucent (about 6 to 8 minutes).

Add in flour, spices and harissa paste, stirring to coat well.

Pour in the stock, lemon zest and saffron. Bring to a boil. Place lamb shanks back in pot and braise in oven for 3 1/2 hours, after which the meat should be falling easily from the bone.

Add prunes to the pot and cook for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with cilantro before serving. Serve with flatbread or on its own.

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