Created by Spinneys
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 120 minutes
Serves 4
Cuisine Arabic
Diet Family Friendly
Preparation Easy
Nutrition (per serving)
Calories 571
Fat 34g
Saturates 11g
Protein 6g
Carbs 62g
Sugars 18g
Given the cook-at-home nature of Spinneys and natural variations in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details

Cooking Instructions

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Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2.


Heat 5ml of oil in a cast-iron casserole dish. Add the shanks and fry until golden and well browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.


Thinly slice the onion and add it to the pan. Fry for 3-4 minutes until golden.


Add the cumin, turmeric, tomato paste and season well with the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add 750ml of water and pomegranate molasses and stir.


Return the shanks to the pan.


Adjust the seasoning and cover with a well-fitting lid.


Place in the preheated oven for 1 hour.


After 1 hour, check the liquid levels, if a splash of water is required halfway, add it. Cover again and place back in the oven for another 45 minutes to 1 hour until the lamb is tender and the sauce has reduced.


To prepare the saffron rice, peel and thinly slice the potatoes and submerge in a bowl of cold water.


Cover the rice with lukewarm water and use your hands to swirl it around until the water becomes cloudy. Drain the water and repeat the washing process until the water runs clear (about 5-6 times). Cover the rice with cold water and add 2 tsp of salt to the water. Allow the rice to soak for at least 1 hour.


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil in a non-stick pot (non-stick is important as this will help the rice to loosen after the final stage of the cooking process). Drain the water from the rice and add to the boiling water. Stir the rice with a slotted spoon to prevent the rice from sticking. Cook the rice until the grains start to float to the top of the pot or have turned a slightly opaque (partially cooked, this should take about 5-6 minutes).


In the meantime, bring the remaining 60ml of water to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the saffron to the water and allow it to steep for 5 minutes.


Drain the rice in a colander and rinse with cold water. Wash out the rice pot.


Pour the remaining oil into the pot and add 2-3 tbsp of the saffron water (reserving the rest).


Arrange the slices of the potato at the bottom of the pot. Add another 1 tbsp of saffron water on top of the potatoes. Add the rice on top the slices of potato, creating a mound, do not press the rice in as you do not want to flatten the grains. Pour the remaining saffron water over the rice mound.


Using the back of the wooden spoon, gently make five wells in the rice – this will allow the steam to escape.


Add 3 tbsp of butter to the rice.


Wrap the pot lid with a clean tea towel and fit onto the pot. Cook over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to a low heat and cook for a further 25-30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes uncovered.


Spoon the rice onto a serving platter.


Gently remove the potato tahdig from the pot, placing the crisp side up on top of the rice.


Serve the lamb shanks with the saffron rice.