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Roasted lamb shank dolmades with crispy grape leaves


Lamb shanks:

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) smooth Dijon mustard

Dolmade rice:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) long grain rice
  • 1-3/4 cups (410 ml) water
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) butter

Lemon oregano dressing:

  • 2 lemons, juice and zest
  • 1 cup (240 ml) olive oil
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh parsley

Crispy grape leaves:

  • 8 brine-packed grape leaves, drained and patted dry
  • Oil, for frying
  • Salt


  1. For the lamb shanks, pre-heat oven to 225°F (105°C).
  2. Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper.
  3. In a food processor, puree oregano, parsley, thyme, onion, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and Dijon. Rub all over the lamb shanks.
  4. Place lamb on a lined sheet pan, pour excess marinade over top. Roast for four hours, until tender.
  5. Rest the roasted shanks at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the large muscles from bones and rough chop with a cleaver. Season with salt and reserve for plating, keep warm.
  7. For the dolmade rice, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for one to two minutes, until tender. Add bay leaf and cinnamon stick, and stir.  Add the water and bring to a simmer.
  8. Rinse the raw rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Add the rinsed rice to the simmering water, and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes.
  10. Leave covered, remove from heat and allow to sit for six to eight minutes.
  11. Remove lid and fluff the rice, then fold in the dill, parsley, and butter.
  12. To make the lemon oregano dressing, in a small food processor, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth.
  13. For the crispy grape leaves, heat frying oil in a heavy pan over high heat to 375°F (190°C).
  14. Fry the grape leaves, two at a time, for one minute, flipping once gently.
  15. Transfer the crisp leaves to a lined plate. Season with salt.
  16. To serve, use a round 2.5 inch (6.25 cm) ring mold/cookie cutter and place a portion of the rice in the centre of the plate.
  17. Top the rice with chopped lamb meat. Drizzle over the dressing and garnish with a crispy grape leaf.