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Curried Braised Lamb Shank with Three Onion Couscous

6 large lamb shanks - (8" to 10" long)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup madras curry powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 cup coarsely-ground fennel
1/4 cup coarsely-ground coriander
Canola oil -- for cooking
2 onions -- chopped
2 celery stalks -- chopped
2 large carrots -- chopped
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup minced ginger
1 bottle red wine
1/4 bunch fresh thyme -- picked, and roughly chopped
1 cup dark soy sauce
1 banana
6 kaffir lime leaves
3 Thai bird chilies
Water
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste

Three Onion Couscous:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 yellow onion -- finely diced
1 bunch scallions -- chopped (save green part for garnishing)
1 red onion -- finely diced
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1/3 cup dried currants
3 cups couscous
6 cups boiling water
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste


Season the shanks well with salt and pepper. Mix flour with curry, chili, fennel, and coriander. Completely coat shanks in mix.


In a hot casserole lightly coated with canola oil, sear shanks and color on all sides. Set shanks aside and wipe out casserole. Saute onions, celery, carrots, garlic and ginger until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze casserole with red wine and reduce by half. Stir in thyme. Add soy sauce, banana, kaffir lime and chilies. Add shanks and completely cover with water. Check for seasoning. Slowly bring to a boil then cover tightly with foil or lid.


Roast in a 325 degree oven (at a simmer) for at least 3 hours. The meat should fall off of the bone. Remove shanks and reduce sauce until thickened slightly. Remove kaffir lime leaves and puree sauce using a hand blender. Check again for seasoning.


For the Three Onion Couscous: In a hot saute pan, add canola oil and caramelize onions with the scallions. Season. Remove to a large bowl. Add olive oil, currants and couscous. Boil water and add exactly 6 cups to bowl and quickly stir together. Immediately cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand 30 minutes. With a fork, fluff couscous and check for seasoning.


For Plating: In a large pasta bowl, place a small mound of couscous and top with shanks. Ladle sauce on shanks and garnish with chopped green scallions.


This recipe yields 4 servings.


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