Food & Wine


Braised lamb shanks with pearl couscous, peas and mint

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Serves 4


  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup pearl couscous*
  • 1 cup frozen peas, rinsed
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • Dressed baby kale leaves, to serve

*Pearl couscous, or Israeli couscous, is small, round pasta balls, much bigger than regular couscous. It is available from supermarkets or delicatessens.


  • Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place a large, heavy based casserole over a moderately high heat. Brush the shanks with olive oil and cook for 8 minutes or until coloured all over.
  • Transfer the shanks to a plate and add the onions to the casserole. Cook for 2 minutes or until coloured then add the shanks back in with the wine and stock. Bring up to the boil, cover and place in the oven for 2 1/4 hours or until very tender.
  • Add the couscous, making sure it is all immersed in the liquid. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, adding the peas for the last few minutes.
  • Stir in the lemon zest and mint. Season with salt and pepper and add lemon juice to taste. Serve with a side dish of dressed baby kale leaves.

For a gluten free option you could substitute the couscous with cooked beans or lentils. For a savoury hit, try sprinkling the cooked couscous with some grated pecorino or parmesan cheese.


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