The perfect cut of lamb is a difficult dish to nail, but this super simple recipe for Spicy Lamb Shanks is bound to wow even the fussiest of dinner guests! Come Dine With Me SA contestant, Katlego Ramagaga absolutely crushed this dish on the show, so you know it’s a winning recipe. It’s the perfect addition to a winter dinner party when paired with a fine bottle of red wine.

No dinner party? No problem! This dish is easy enough to prep and cook for a mouthwatering mid-week dinner too!

Spicy Lamb Shanks

Ingredients:

4 lamb shanks
Olive oil, for frying
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and thickly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 x 750ml bottle red wine
500ml chicken stock
Small handful of mint leaves, to garnish
1tbsp cornflour, to thicken the sauce

Marinade:

1 – 2 green chillies, seeded and sliced, to taste
1 – 2 red chillies, seeded and sliced, to taste
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half
3 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped and crushed
Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

First prepare the marinade. Mix the chillies (for a milder dish use 1 of each colour only), smoked paprika, oregano, cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and seasoning together. Rub the mixture into the lamb so that it is well flavoured. You can cook the lamb straight away, but if you have time, cover and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour, or even overnight.

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Heat a large casserole dish on the hob and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Brown the lamb in it for about 6 minutes until coloured on all sides, then add the chillies and cinnamon from the marinade.

Add the carrots, onion and bay leaves to the casserole and brown for a minute or two. Lift the lamb so that it is resting on top of the onions and carrots. Add the red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up the bits from the bottom, then bring to the boil and cook for 7 – 8 minutes to reduce the liquid by half. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil, then transfer, uncovered, to the preheated oven. Cook for 3 hours until the meat is really tender and the sauce reduced (If the tops of the shanks look like they might be drying out, baste and occasionally turn them.)

Remove the cooked meat from the oven and serve garnished with torn mint leaves and the cooking juices spooned on top.

Tune into Come Dine With Me South Africa on Thursdays at 20:00 on DSTV’s BBC BRIT (channel 120) for loads of laughs and the occasional great cooking tip.

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