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Chef Diana
Chef Diana

Spiced Braised American Lamb Shanks with Green Olives

Our Spiced Braised American Lamb Shanks with Green Olives is a flavorful and tender dish that counters the rich taste of lamb and warm spices with the briny punch of green olives. Our class will guide you through creating a savory, comforting meal that satisfies all year round. Pair it with our Carrot Tabbouleh and some crusty bread.

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Spiced Braised Lamb Shanks with Green Olives

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 20-30 minutes

Cook Time: 1.5-2 hours

Total Time: 2-2.5 hours


For the Spiced Braised Lamb Shanks with Green Olives:

  • 4 lamb shanks, trimmed (ask your butcher!)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or lamb stock
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup green olives, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, plus more for garnish
  • Zest of 1 lemon


1. Prep the Lamb Shanks: 

Season the lamb shanks generously with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the lamb shanks and brown them on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the shanks from the pot and set aside.

2. Sauté the Aromatics: Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic to the pot and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and ginger, and cook, stirring, for another minute, until fragrant.

3. Braise the Lamb: Return the lamb shanks to the pot. Add the chicken or lamb stock and the diced tomatoes with their juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer gently for about 2 to 2.5 hours, or until the lamb is very tender and nearly falling off the bone.

4. Add Olives and Lemon: Once the lamb is tender, stir in the green olives, lemon juice, and half of the chopped cilantro or parsley. Add the lemon zest. Simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Serve: Transfer the lamb shanks to serving plates. Spoon the sauce and olives over the shanks. Garnish with the remaining chopped cilantro or parsley and serve with our Carrot Tabbouleh.



Carrot Tabbouleh

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes, plus chilling time


For the Carrot Tabbouleh:

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled 
  • 1 cup carrot tops (ensure they’re clean and free from any dirt)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 3 green onions 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional for garnish: lemon wedges, extra virgin olive oil


1.  Prepare the Couscous: 

Place the couscous in a large bowl. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the couscous, cover the bowl with a plate or lid, and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Fluff the couscous with a fork and let it cool slightly.

2. Chop the Vegetables: 

While the couscous is soaking, fit your food processor with the standard blade attachment. Process the carrots in the food processor until they are finely grated. Transfer them to a large mixing bowl. No need to clean the processor between uses.

3. Process the Greens: 

In the food processor, combine the carrot tops, parsley, mint, and green onions. Pulse until everything is finely chopped but not pureed. Add the chopped greens to the bowl with the grated carrots.

4. Mix the Salad: 

Add the cooled bulgur to the bowl with the grated carrots and chopped greens. Toss until everything is well combined.

5. Make the Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the tabbouleh and toss again until everything is evenly coated.

6. Chill: 

For the best flavor, let the tabbouleh chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together.

7. Serve: Before serving, give the tabbouleh a final taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve chilled or at room temperature, garnished with lemon wedges and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if desired.


  • Wash the carrot tops and herbs thoroughly to remove any dirt or grit.
  • If you have carrots without their tops, no problem! Just substitute with another cup of parsley.