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This gutsy recipe demonstrates how to cook with spices.
First prepare the marinade. Mix the chillies (use only one of each if you don’t like hot dishes), smoked paprika, oregano, cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and seasoning together. Rub the mixture into the lamb so that it is well flavoured. You can cook the lamb straight away, but if you have time, cover and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour, or even overnight.
Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas 3.
Heat a large casserole dish on the hob and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Brown the lamb in it for about 6 minutes until coloured on all sides, then add the chillies and cinnamon from the marinade.
Add the carrots, onion and bay leaves to the casserole and brown for a minute or two. Lift the lamb so that it is resting on top of the onions and carrots. Add the red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up the bits from the bottom, then bring to the boil and cook for 7–8 minutes to reduce the liquid by half. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil, then transfer, uncovered, to the preheated oven. Cook for 3 hours until the meat is really tender and the sauce reduced. (If the tops of the shanks look like they might be drying out, just baste and occasionally turn them.)
Remove the cooked meat from the oven and serve garnished with torn mint leaves and the cooking juices spooned on top.
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