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Lamb Shanks with Apricot Couscous

4 Lamb shanks (3-4 lbs total) bones cracked
1 lg Onion, finely chopped
1 Cinnamon stick (2" long)
1 1/2 ts Ground coriander
1 ts Ground ginger
1/2 ts Ground cumin
1/4 ts Ground allspice
1 1/4 c Chicken broth
1/4 c Apricot or orange Muscat dessert wine
3/4 c Coarsely chop dried apricots
1 1/2 c Couscous
Mint sprigs (optional)


Place lamb shanks in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 450 oven until well browned (20-25 minutes). Meanwhile, in a 4 quart or larger slow cooker, combine onion, cinnamon stick, coriander, ginger, cumin and all spice. Lift lamb from baking pan and place on top of onion mixture; discard fat in pan. Pour broth over lamb. Cover and cook at low setting until lamb is so tender it pulls away from bones when prodded with a fork (7 1/2-9 hrs. )

Lift lamb to a warm, deep platter and keep warm. Skim and discard fat from cooking liquid; then measure liquid. You need 2 1/4 cups; if necessary, pour off some of the liquid or add enough hot water to make 2 1/4 cups. Return liquid to cooker and increase heat setting to high. Stir in wine and apricots, then couscous. Cover and let stand until liquid has been absorbed (about 10 more minutes. ) Spoon couscous around lamb; garnish with mint, if desired.

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