1 bay leaf
1 cup dry red wine
1 gallon veal or beef stock
4 whole dried ancho chilies
1 package Israeli couscous
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons finely minced preserved lemons, optional
3 teaspoons fresh chopped mint
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Arugula or radish sprouts, optional
1. Heat oven to 325. Place garlic cloves with 1 teaspoon water in a foil packet in oven. Roast, 20-30 minutes
2. Stir salt, pepper and cumin together in a small bowl. Rub mixture into the lamb shanks.
3. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet. Cook lamb shanks, in batches if necessary, until well-browned on all sides, 12 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate, leaving the fat in the skillet.
4. In the same skillet, saute onion, carrot and celery until softened and golden brown, 10 minutes.
5. Remove garlic cloves from oven; squeeze pulp from skins. Add garlic to skillet. Pour in wine; cook, stirring up browned bits from the pan as it reduces. Add as much beef stock as will fit in the pan along with bay leaf; heat to a boil.
6. Place the lamb shanks in a large roasting pan. Pour hot stock and vegetables over the meat; add ancho chilies. Heat remaining beef or veal stock until boiling; add to the roasting pan. Cover roasting pan tightly with foil; roast in 325 oven, 4 hours.
7. Remove pan from oven; cool shanks and vegetables in braising liquid. Refrigerate overnight.
8. The next day, heat oven to 350. Skim off the fat. Remove the shanks. Strain the vegetables from the braising liquid, discarding vegetables. In an oven-proof pan over medium heat, reduce braising liquid by one-third. Add shanks to a roasting pan; place in oven. Spoon braising liquid over shanks every 5 minutes until shanks are heated through and glazed with the braising liquid.
9. Meanwhile, toast couscous in a hot skillet until golden brown. Cook couscous in chicken broth or well-salted boiling water following package directions.
10. Mix yogurt, preserved lemons, mint and garlic together to make a sauce.
11. To serve, place a mound of couscous in a serving dish, top with a lamb shank or several pieces of the de-boned meat. Spoon braising sauce over all. Dollop with yogurt sauce, lemon zest and a sprinkling of fresh sprouts.
Per serving (for 8 servings): 660 calories, 25 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 160 mg cholesterol, 45 g carbohydrates, 57 g protein, 1,890 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.