Lamb on Unleavened Bread With Couscous, Oranges and Chilli

Expect explosions of flavour and get the whole family stuck into this Middle Eastern-inspired lamb sharing platter.


  • 3-4 small lamb shanks (about 500g each)
  • 3 tbs sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 2 small onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, sliced diagonally
  • 2 large celery sticks, diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp ras-el-hanout, or Moroccan spice mix
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tbs tomato purée
  • 1 1/2 tbs cornflour
  • 750ml lamb stock
  • 3-4 red chillis
  • 1 tbs sunflower oil
  • 1 large orange, peeled, pith removed, segmented
  • 1 blood orange, peeled, pith removed, segmented
  • 1 pomegranate, arils removed
  • 1 small cucumber, halved, seeded, finely diced
  • 1 handful coriander leaves


  • 140g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 125ml water
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp teaspoons salt
  • 1 tbs olive oil


  • 175g (1 cup) fine couscous
  • 500ml vegetable stock, hot
  • 1 tbs olive oil


Step 1.
Preheat the oven to 150C (300F). Trim the shanks with a sharp paring knife, cutting away excess fat and gristle.

Step 2.
Heat 2 tbs oil in a casserole dish set over a high heat until hot. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper before searing in the hot oil until golden-brown all over. Remove from the dish to a plate.

Step 3.
Add the remaining oil, followed by onion, carrot, celery, garlic, spices, bay leaf and a pinch of salt, to the dish. Sauté for 3-4 minutes before stirring in the tomato purée and cornflour. Cook for 1 minute, stirring, before returning the shanks (and any accumulated juices) to the dish.

Step 4.
Cover with the stock and bring to the boil. Once boiling, cover the dish with foil. Braise in the oven for about 2 hours, occasionally basting with the stock, or until the meat is tender and falling away from the bones.

Step 5.
Remove from the oven and let cool to one side, still covered. Increase the oven to 200C (400F).

Step 6.
For the bread, combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stirring until you have a rough dough. Add more water or flour as needed if too dry or wet. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 0.25cm-thick rectangle.

Step 7.
Cut into four portions and arrange between two large greased baking trays. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until browned and very lightly charred. Remove from the oven and let cool on the trays.

Step 8.
Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large mixing bowl. Pour over the hot stock, stir briefly and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Step 9.
After 10 minutes, fluff with a fork to separate the grains. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 10.
Preheat a chargrill to hot. Drizzle the chillis with oil and grill for about 5-7 minutes, turning once, or until blackened and charred.

Step 11.
Take the meat off the shanks and separate into large chunks. Serve on top of the unleavened bread with the couscous, orange segments, pomegranate seeds, cucumber, grilled chillis and coriander leaves.

Serves 4