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TUNISIAN INSPIRED BRAISED LAMB SHANKS WITH ARTICHOKE HEARTS

Such exotic flavors!! It brings back memories of the traditional Tunisian dinner we were served on a trip to North Africa. Tunisia is a country of great contrasts, modern on the Mediterranean Sea, with casinos and great hotels but primitive on the side bordering Algeria. It has been ruled by the Moors, Romans, Vandals, French and Arabs just to name a few. This creates a melting pot of people, language, architecture, cuisine, and customs that are so unique and exotic!  I couldnít believe the spectacular Roman ruins!! 

Live Life with Joy, Wonder and Style Cookbook
Clay Stephens  2011

Recipe

TUNISIAN INSPIRED BRAISED LAMB SHANKS WITH ARTICHOKE HEARTS
  • 1 large chunked onion
  • 2 Lamb shanks (serves 2)
  • Quartered artichoke hearts (canned) drained well
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, not drained and 1 can water
  • Dried mint flakes, maybe a tbsp. or two depending on your taste
  • Garlic powder (you can use freshly chopped garlic-see below)
  • Celery seed or celery salt
  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine, about 1 cup
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • A healthy pinch of coriander or to taste
  • Brown shanks in large pot in oil with the pepper, drain fat
  • Add onions and cook slow till browned (you can add fresh chopped garlic instead of garlic powder, after onion is brown, and cook for few minutes)
  • Add all ingredients except artichoke hearts and cook for 1 ½ hours or till shanks are very tender then add artichoke hearts for last 20 to 30 minutes of cooking time.

We saw aqueducts the Romanís built to transport water from the mountains 60 miles to the baths at Carthage on the sea, temples, amphitheaters, and villages where you could stand on the ruins of intricate mosaic floors and imagine how life must have been at that time. You could almost hear the voices and bustle of daily life!

 We visited a 70 + year old woman who still lives in a cave! She had electricity and T.V and the dwelling was fascinating! The caves were carved out of the mountain side; a wall was constructed with a door leading to an open central courtyard with several caves branching off that. She had a kitchen cave, a living room cave, a sleeping cave, a storage cave, etc. Her children had all moved to the city, and she is widowed but chooses to stay in the cave dwelling.

The souks (market places) were a cornucopia of sights and smells. The spice markets were so gorgeous and aromatic with large baskets and containers overflowing with exotic, brilliantly colored spices. There, you could purchase a small glass of extremely sweet mint tea, served warm in beautifully decorated small glasses, a little bigger than a shot glass. It was an unforgettable experience!

I could go on, but that would be a book in itís self! You should go!

 

All Content and Images Copyright 2016 Clay Stephens Lifestyles