Monthly Archives: May 2014

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Shanks with Chick Peas

Here’s a recipe that I got from our friends at Chasseur. It’s best cooked in one of their casseroles as these can go easily from hob to oven to table (don’t forget the trivet or tablemat!)


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 small lamb shanks
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped or crushed
  • 1 small aubergine, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 sliced chilli or a teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander, and a handful of fresh coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 lamb stock cube in ¾ pint of boiling water
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in your casserole on the hob and brown the lamb shanks all over
  2. Remove from the casserole
  3. Add the chopped onion and fry until golden, then add the garlic
  4. Add the cumin, paprika, ground coriander and cinnamon and stir over the heat for 1 minute
  5. Add he browned lamb shanks in the casserole and pour over the lamb stock and the tinned tomatoes
  6. Add the salt and pepper and a tablespoon of red wine if you like. The liquid should just cover the lamb shanks
  7. Put the lid on the casserole and place in a re-heated oven at 160oC/320oF for 2 hours
  8. Remove from oven and stir in the chopped vegetables and chick peas
  9. Return to the oven for another hour
  10. Just before serving, add a handful of the coriander leaves saving a couple for garnish

To serve

Using a large slotted spoon, serve up the chickpeas and vegetables in shallow bowls or plates and place the lamb shanks on top. Garnish with the sprigs of coriander.

You could also serve with freshly prepared cous cous if you are very hungry!

Here’s where to find the ideal Chasseur casserole for this recipe.

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What is detempering?

We’ve just put some new knife sharpeners on the site and I noted in the description that they prevented ‘detempering’.  So what does that mean? (Greg said it would be useful to know for when I got angry!)

Well I checked with the supplier, Chefs Choice and they told me that steel goes through a process involving slow and moderate heating to increase the hardness and toughness of the metal – called tempering.  If your knives are not sharpened properly then this hardness can be compromised.

Wow! Next week I’ll be explaining the theory behind the Higgs Boson!!!

At first I thought the electric sharpeners were expensive, but then I thought: If you’re going to spend a lot of money on good quality knives that will last a lifetime, then shouldn’t you make sure you have the best possible sharpener too?

Anyway have a look for yourself – Chefs Choice

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I’m very excited about the new range of Chasseur  cast iron cookware that has been added to our range.  Apparently it is manufactured in a foundry deep in the Ardennes region of France (no idea what the wine’s like in this part of France!).

They tell me that the cookware is environmentally friendly, with over 40% made from re-cycled material.

Moulds are broken down to be used again which seems a bit of a waste to me but they say it keeps the quality high.  All I know is that it’s a stunning range with some wonderful colours.  Check it out for yourself


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Tagine of Lamb Shanks

Here’s a great and simple recipe for preparing melt-in-the-mouth lamb shanks using one of the latest additions to our range:

Serves 2
Cooking time: 1½ – 1 ¾ hours

2 lamb shanks
2 onions
One tablespoon of sweet paprika
Two cinnamon sticks
One garlic clove
One small bouquet of fresh thyme
10 soft whole-dried apricots
10 cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Place the tagine on a hot flame, add a dash of the olive oil.
In a container, season the lamb shanks by rubbing with salt, pepper and paprika, and then place them in the tagine and sear on all sides.
Add the garlic clove, the cinnamon stick and the bouquet of fresh thyme.
Quarter the onions and place in the tagine.
Add the cherry tomatoes and apricots, cover with the tagine lid and leave for 1½ to 1¾ hours on a medium flame.   The preparation should simmer slightly while cooking.
Serve with sauted courgettes and a green salad

The ideal tagine for this is available at Cookshop Direct. Click here


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