2 lamb shanks
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground dried hibiscus (jamaica)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron
Juice of 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons
1 shallot, chopped
Zest of 1/2 fresh lime
Zest of 1/2 orange
A few thyme sprigs
1 fresh bay leaf
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley, for garnish
1 tablespoon roughly chopped mint or dill, for garnish
1. Trim any excess fat from lamb shanks, remove membrane and season generously with salt.
2. Mix together the cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, hibiscus, black pepper and turmeric. Sprinkle evenly over shanks and rub into meat. Let sit at room temperature at least an hour, or wrap in place (each shank separately) and refrigerate overnight, then bring to room temperature.
3. Place saffron in a small bowl with lime juice and 1/4 cup warm water. Let steep for at least 10 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Place a Dutch oven or deep, heavy pot over medium-high heat and add oil to a depth of 1/2 inch. When oil is hot, add lamb shanks and fry until nicely browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
5. Carefully remove all but 2 tablespoons oil from Dutch oven. Add chopped shallot and cook over medium heat until softened and lightly colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt, then add lime zest, orange zest, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Stir in saffron mixture. Lay in the lamb shanks and add the broth. Broth should come up about half way up the shanks. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and cover pot.
6. Transfer pot to oven and bake for 90 minutes, covered, until meat is tender when probed and beginning to fall from the bone. Remove lamb shanks to serving dish and keep warm.
7. Strain braising juices through a fine-mesh sieve into fat separator, pressing with a spoon to obtain all the liquid (discard thyme, bay leaves and shallots). Skim fat by pouring into sauté pan, then taste and add salt if necessary. Reheat strained juices to reduce and spoon over lamb shanks.
8. Combine parsley and mint and sprinkle over top.