After spending an afternoon discovering the amazing produce grown, farmed and cultivated in the Riebeek Valley, I was inspired to develop a recipe for delicious slow-braised lamb shanks in red wine.
The oldest established wine estate in the area, Allesverloren is found on the slopes of the Kasteelberg range – a location that is ideal for full-bodied, hearty and fortified wines with excellent fruit concentration. Think robust reds made in the traditional Old-World style with a strong influence from Portuguese cultivars. Now presided over by winemaker Wilhelm, the estate continues to produce an excellent range of varietals – namely Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Tinta Barocca. Wilhelm credits the wine’s popularity to the fact that Swartland reds are lighter in tannins due to being grown in a climate that is both warm and cool. Thus Allesverloren reds provide the drinker with a softer sip and nose redolent of red fruit.
It was two of these wines – a 2017 Shiraz and a 2016 Tres Vermelhos – that inspired me to create a recipe in homage to the unique character, heritage and hospitality of the valley. Enter my Mediterranean lamb shanks, slow-braised in red wine with rosemary and served on a bed of creamy mashed potato. The ideal winter dinner, this slow-food staple is best done a day ahead, or start early in the morning. While little beats a meltingly tender lamb shank with potatoes, the meat also makes a deliciously decadent filling for a pie if one needs to feed a crowd.
Slow-braised Lamb Shanks in red wine
Prep time: 25 mins /Cook time: 2.5 hours /Serves: 4
You will need:
- 4 lamb shanks
- Olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly quartered
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 15ml tomato paste
- 750ml red wine
- 250ml beef stock
- Coarse ground sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Using a large casserole, heat the olive oil, add in 2 sprigs of rosemary and brown the lamb shanks, careful to colour each side of the meat. Remove the shanks and rosemary and set aside. Fry the onion, carrots and a few finely chopped rosemary leaves in the remaining oil, season with salt and pepper and add the tomato paste. Cook on high for a little longer then use the wine to deglaze the base of the casserole. Pour in the stock and return the shanks to the pot. Bring to a simmer then cover the pot with the lid and cook the shanks in the oven for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the lamb is meltingly tender and the liquid has reduced.
Serve the shanks with a spoonful of their gravy on a bed of creamy mashed potato with a head of roasted garlic, steamed greens like beans or Brussels sprouts and a glass of smooth Allesverloren Shiraz or Tres Vermelhos.