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This South African take on lamb shank stew is served with a traditional creamy maize meal side such as maize meal, polenta or mieliepap. People absolutely love lamb shanks. You cook them until they’re just falling apart and they develop the most amazing flavours. This recipe is all about the dark sticky beer sauce and tender meat with gentle orange flavours – delicious.

Serves 4


4 lamb shanks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
2 oranges (preferably organic), washed, halved and pips removed
750 ml / 3 cups veal or beef stock
350 ml / 1 1/2 cups amber beer
1/2 cup raisins


Preheat the oven to 150C / 325F
Season the shanks all over with the salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat (I used a 28cm Le Creuset)
Sauté the shanks, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes
Transfer the shanks to a plate and set aside
Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes
Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute longer
Add the rosemary, thyme, balsamic vinegar, honey, stock and beer
Return the shanks to the pan
Cover and transfer the pan to the oven
Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours
With a slotted spoon, very carefully, place the shanks on a plate
Discard the oranges, the rosemary and thyme stalks
Using a stick blender, blitz the remaining sauce until smooth
Return the pan to the heat and reduce the sauce until thick
Spoon the sauce over the shanks
Serve with mashed potatoes, mieliepap or polenta