Braised Moroccan Lamb Shanks

braised moroccan lamb shanks


This is one of my most loved dishes, Moroccan Lamb Shanks, which I created when I was running Brambles Bistro. It is the perfect combination of spice and aromatics, perfectly warming and comforting. I know that lamb shanks can sometimes scare people off and they are not too common, but they are quite simple to prepare and get deliciously tender, and the flavor is extremely rich and decadent. My taste buds are already getting excited thinking about eating the welcomed leftovers tomorrow night. I hope you enjoy this truly loved dish as much as myself and my loved ones do. Enjoy!

Braised Moroccan Lamb Shanks

Lamb Shank Marinade

  • 6 lamb shanks
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Braising Liquid/Sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup good red wine
  • 1 onion, large dice
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cardamom pods (the seeds inside)
3 star anise
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1 can canned tomatoes
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 3 sprigs mint
  • 1/2 cup whole cilantro
  • 1 cup whole apricots
Directions for Lamb Shank Marinade
  • Combine olive oil, spices, salt & pepper, mint, and cilantro in a medium sized bowl and mix together.
  • Place lamb shanks in marinade and let sit for a minimum of 8 hours.
  • Once it has sat sear the lamb shanks in a hot pan until all sides are nicely seared.
Directions for Braising Liquid/Sauce
  1. Heat oven to 300.
  2. Heat a large ceramic pot/dutch oven over medium heat and add olive oil.
  3. Saute onions, garlic, & ginger until translucent.
  4. Add the cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, cumin, and fennel seeds.
  5. Saute for about 10 minutes over low heat.
  6. Add a little water at a time to prevent the spices from burning.
  7. Once you have thoroughly cooked out the spices add the wine and reduce until about 1/4 cup.
  8. Add coconut milk, canned tomatoes, chickpeas, lemon zest & juice, fresh mint, fresh cilantro, and apricots.
  9. Add the seared lamb shanks to the braising liquid/sauce. Place the lid on the top and place in the pre-heated oven until the meat is falling off the bone, approximately 2 hours.
  10. Check and rotate lamb shanks every 45 minutes.
6. Garnish with more freshly chopped mint, cilantro, and lemon zest. You can either serve alongside couscous or fresh naan bread.

braised moroccan lamb shanksFor more delicious recipes from Chef Kayla, click the ‘Life from Scratch’ tab in the menu above.

Brambles Bistro Recipe: Carrot Patch Carrot Cake


Brambles Bistro Recipe: Carrot Patch Carrot Cake


2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 tsp vanilla

Sift together sugar,flour,soda,salt and cinnamon.  Stir in oil.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add carrots, nuts and vanilla, mixing thoroughly. Pour into a floured and greased 13 x 9 x2-inch cake pan.   Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Do not overtake.  Cool in pan.  Spread with cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 cup melted butter
1  8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 1-pound bag confectioners sugar

Combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla, mixing well.  Gradually add confectioners sugar, beating until smooth.  Spread on cooled cake.   Enjoy

RECIPE: Chicken & Caramelized Onion Gruyere Bites

Chicken & Onion Gruyere Bites

A celebration treat that’s great to serve all year long!

Chicken & Onion Gruyere Bites

Bake the bites the day before your gathering, cool and refrigerate.  The next day, reheat at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.  After Christmas, substitute left over Turkey for Chicken.


4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached, cooled and diced.
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Teaspoon Faux-Tisseriez Spice BlenZ*
2 Granny Smith apples cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
1 Teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh chives minced
1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary
1 large egg beaten
* Order by phone or email from Che Pamela E.  Tour our website and take your tastebuds on a voyage of discovery!


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside
Remove puff pastry from the refrigerator
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the onions and saute for approximately 20 minutes, stirring often until golden.
Remove from skillet and set aside in a bowl.
In the same skillet, add butter and saute the poached chicken with the Spice BlenZ for 5 minutes.
Add in the cubed apples and the sugar.
Stir together and cook for 7 minutes.
Remove from skillet and add to onions.

Add the cheese, dried herbs and chives to the onion mixture in the large bowl.
Season to taste with pepper.
Stir well to combine and then set aside.

With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the puff pastry into 2 inch squares and place them on the parchment lined baking sheet.
With a pastry brush, brush each square with some of the beaten egg.

Place approximately 1 Tablespoon of the filling onto the centre of each pastry square.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 30 – 40 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden and filling is hot.
Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
Remove carefully to a cooling rack and allow to rest another 5 minutes, then enjoy!

** Globally inspired Farm to Fork Culinary Adventures**


Warm Spinach Salad, Parmesan Cup

Warm Spinach Salad, Parmesan Cup

Another Ladies Soiree favorite…

Warm Spinach Salad, Parmesan Cup


Warm Spinach Salad, Parmesan Cup


  • 3 lb bag of spinach
  • 2 cups red quinoa
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp, Dijon mustard
  • 3.5 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbslp, chopped thyme
  • .5 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp orange zest + juice
  • 1 litre, grated parmesan
  • 2 bayleaf
  • 2 cups – apple cider vinegar




  • 2 cups of quinoa to 4 cups of water
  • Add 2 bay leaves
  • Cook until tender
  • Let cool spread out on sheet pan


  • In a blender add maple syrup, Dijon, orange zest + juice and thyme, allspice & 3.5 cup olive oil and 2 cups apple cider until vinaigrette consistency. If too thin add a little extra Dijon to the mix!

Parmesan Cup

  • On a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper take the desired cup size of how big you would like your bowl to be with a pencil draw a circle around the shape
  • Once you have your whole parchment paper lined with circles flip the parchment over.
  • Fill each circle with about a 1 cup and .5 of parmesan lying flat.
  • Place sheet pan in the oven at 350 degrees
  • Watch the parmesan in the oven – you want to take out the sheet pan as soon as the cheese starts to look golden
  • Take it out with a spatula and place on a cup to form and let cool.



“The Queen of Greens”

( I daydreamed of starting  this post with a photo of teeth laden with kale but no one volunteered…surprisingly.)

Everywhere I look  there are people sipping on green smoothies (yogi’s or not) It seems Dr. Seuss’ “Green eggs and Ham” analogy is back in business, although now it’s no longer fictional.

Kale, Kale, Kale! This superhero green is taking the world by storm! Perhaps because A-listers; Ellen Degeneres, Gweneth Paltrow and even Michelle Obama have drummed up a cult like following or maybe it’s simply that the world has discovered its vast health benefits.

History: Kale is part of the cabbage family, originated in the Eastern Mediterranean. It was very popular in the Middle Ages throughout Northern Europe and Britain although was long forgotten in the days of the popular potato. Interestingly kale is one of the cool kids once again, rising to the top of stardom while the potato falls behind. Nutrition trumps carbs these days.

When to Plant: March through Mid-July. Kale actually improves in taste after a frost.

When to Harvest: Late Spring to Early Fall, you may begin harvesting when the leaves of the plant are approximately the size of your hand, from small leaves to large, in wet, cold, and warm. This is a very flexible and adaptable plant for your gardens! If you have the opportunity to pick the leaves from your garden rather than picking them up at the supermarket, it is best to pick the leaves when they are smaller, for the best taste!

Companions: Cabbage is the best companion for kale, although you can plant it with an assortment of herbs such as dill, sage and rosemary. As well as garlic or beans.

Nutritional Value: Let the list begin, high in Vitamin C, A, K, iron and calcium. And great for detox, lowering cholesterol and jam packed with antioxidants. Kale has low calories and is very high in fiber.

Insert infomercial voice here, Kale, the deliciously healthy green that tastes so good, you won’t even know how good it is for you! Before you decide that the craze for kale is because of it’s delicious taste, try it. In my personal opinion, kale is an acquired taste. After eating it a few times you get a feel for it, it doesn’t hurt knowing that  Kale has more iron than beef! For some of you, perhaps kale is the green you’ve been waiting for!  But for me I need recipes like the ones Chef Sarah has put together for this week. Recipes that enhance kale beyond the point of just throwing a few leaves into a salad! So check them out.

Kale and Quinoa Patties

Dark Chocolate Kale Cake

(click links to view recipe)

It is recommended to try to patties with avocado, garlic oil, or serve with tzatziki and a Greek salad! It’s a delicious and fresh way to get your nutrients!

It’s not easy being green! But I have faith in you.