Kitchen Bachelor does Chambar Shanks & Couscous

My favourite restaurant in Vancouver is none other than Chambar – the Belgian restaurant on Beatty street.  They have a great wine list, Belgian beers, moules frites and Nico Shuermans – a 3 Michelin-starred chef.

A friend from work recently mentioned that Chambar’s Moroccan Lamb Shanks recipe was surprisingly profiled on the 24 hours newspaper.  Many of the dishes at Chambar have an exotic twist, given that Chef Nico was schooled by a Moroccan chef.  I love this dish and decided to throw a dinner party for a few special friends.

It turned out amazingly well – with scrumptious flavours and exotic scents that permeated my apartment for a good 2 days!

Here’s the recipe – a slight variation from what was posted on the 24 hours newspaper.  Double up the ingredients if you’re going to go through the effort – make some friends, invite some neighbours.

Difficulty rating: 4 out of 5
Serves: 2


2 – 1 lb lamb shanks (about 1.5 inches thick)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed or ground
50 g red onion, diced
40 g fresh ginger, minced
30 g tumeric
2 garlic cloves, minced
100 ml honey
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups of white wine
2 cups of stock (I used veal stock)
Pinch of crushed chilles
Salt and pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Clean, dry, salt and pepper the shanks
3. Heat vegetable oil in a stainless steel pot – medium high
4. Brown meat on both sides, then remove temporarily
5. Reduce heat to medium low
6. Add onions first (sautee), then garlic, ginger (sautee some more)
7. Add stock, wine, honey and other spices
8. Bring shanks back to the pot
9. Liquid level should come to halfway up the meat – this is the key to braising this meat over low heat
10. Cover the pot and put it in the oven for 3 hours – flip the lamb every hour


100 mg couscous
160 ml water
1 tbsp sliced almonds
2 tbsp dried apricots, cut into strips (I used prunes)
2 tbsp raisins
2 tsp tumeric
2 tsp green onion, sliced
2 tsp mint chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt


1. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan
2. Add the couscous, salt, olive oil and tumeric and mix well
3. Take the couscous off the heat and cover for 5 minutes
4. Use a fork to fluff the couscous and stir in the rest of the ingredients

That’s it!  It takes a bit of planning to get this dish ready, but once it’s prepped, most of the time is really just waiting for the lamb to get super tender in the oven.  I would love to hear your experiences if you do try this great “dish for the soul”!


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