Sometimes even well-laid plans come adrift.
I have been wanting to try cooking lamb-shanks over a fire, so our holiday in the Drakensberg seemed like a good opportunity. I stocked up on lamb-shanks for two, amongst other goodies, and off we went. One thing I forgot though – my big black flat bottomed cast iron pot. Disaster! How on earth was I going to cook two large, very awkardly shaped pieces of lamb, bone included?
Well, ‘n boer maak a plan’ as they say they the classics (in SA, anyway). I did have a cast iron frying pan, and several tin-foil pie dishes, which I use when I’m making braai-packs. So, we decided to fry everything up in the frying pan, and cook it in a tinfoil ‘packet’. And it came out so well, I want to try making it again – but maybe I’ll use a pot this time! Although – the clean-up was so easy, all we had to do was chuck the tinfoil in the bin, and wash a few plates and things.
Here’s the recipe, I hope you’ll give it a try – when you have the leisure time to sit by the fire for the 3 to 4 hours this will take to cook! Pour another drink, sit back and relax!
Lamb Shanks Cooked over a Fire
feeds 2 hungry adults (we ate late!)
2 lamb shanks
oil for frying
1 packet bacon braai rashers (thick cut bacon), sliced
1 large onion, sliced roughly
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 glass of red wine
1 tin of chopped tomatoes, with their juice
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Start by making a fire, and heating the oil in the pan/pot
- Fry the lamb shanks until they are well-browned, then transfer them to a tinfoil dish
- Add the bacon pieces and fry until all the fat is rendered, spoon them over the lambshanks
- Fry the onions in the bacon fat, add the garlic when the onions are softened, and fry together
- Add the glass of red wine, the tin of tomatoes, the sugar, rosemary, seasoning and mustard, and bring to the boil
- Pour the tomato mixture over the meat
- Wrap a large piece of tinfoil around the entire tray, and seal loosely
- Place on the braai grid, and keep the flames small but steady
- Cook for at least 3 hours (pour several more drinks), checking regularly, add a little water if needed
- Serve on mash or polenta – we had ours on mushy veggies, one of my favourite braai dishes: boil together peeled, chopped potatoes, onions and garlic, and mixed veggies (whatever you have on hand, butternut, broccoli, carrots, even a pack of frozen mixed veggies) until soft, drain well, add a heap of butter, salt and lots of freshly ground pepper, mash together. Delicious, I promise!
And here’s the result – gorgeously tender, melt-in-the-mouth pieces of lamb in a rich bacon/tomato/herby sauce. YUM, pretty good braai food!
We had this dinner by candlelight in our caravan – I do love camping!!!
We fly into Kruger this weekend and I was wondering how to do a “potjie” without my cast iron pot…can’t wait to try this. Thank you. Will let you know.
Hi Julie – glad to have been of help! Let me know how it worked out 🙂
>It looks delicious and your pics are stunning!!
Thank you, Pink!!!
>Oh my goodness! To me lamb shanks is like that little black dress, or choosing the chick flick when you go to the movies – you can't go wrong. This looks gorgeous, thanks very much.
Hello Adele – that’s a good description – a little black dress of a dish, can never go wrong! Thanks for the comment!