This recipe is a bit more labour intensive than most of my recipes, but it is worth the effort, I promise!!



  • 4 lamb shanks or 1 kg chicken thighs or legs (preferably bone-in)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour (omit if gluten-free)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped  (discard after cooking if low FODMAPs)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed (use garlic oil if low FODMAPs)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1½tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp harissa paste, or chopped red chilli to taste
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 1 small preserved lemon, chopped, or 3 strips of lemon zest
  • Pinch of saffron strands
  • 100g soft prunes
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked and chopped




  1. Season the meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat half the oil in a large, deep flameproof casserole in which the meat will fit snugly, add the meat and fry until they are nicely browned on all sides. Lift out and set aside on a plate.
  2. Add the rest of the oil and the onion to the pan and fry until the onion is golden brown. If onion intolerant/ low FODMAPs, discard the onion, leaving the oil in the casserole.
  3. Add the garlic (or garlic oil), ground cumin, coriander and ginger, paprika and harissa paste or chilli and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the flour (if using), the honey, tomatoes, stock and preserved lemon or lemon zest strips and bring to the boil. Return the meat to the pan, bring the sauce back to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, partially cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Uncover the casserole and simmer for a further 1 hour, turning the meat over every now and then so that it cooks evenly.
  5. Meanwhile, put the saffron into a small bowl and cover with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Leave to soak.
  6. If needed, skim the excess fat from the surface of the sauce. Increase the heat a little and add the saffron water. Simmer more vigorously for 30 minutes, adding the prunes 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, until the sauce has reduced and thickened and the meat is tender.
  7. Serve with coriander, steamed veggies and wild black rice (if tolerated) or cauliflower rice.


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