Lamb Shank Potjie with Beetroot

My fondest memories from high school involve food. A particular lamb stew comes to mind and it was always served with madombi. Lamb is the perfect meat for just about any crockpot or slow cooked casserole dish. Have no doubt that a lamb potjie would be as equally delicious. If you are wondering what is so special about potjies, I have already explained this here.

This lamb shank recipe is mixed with diced lamb shoulder pieces for practical reasons. The hind shanks I used are quite massive, but if you have a big enough pot then by all means just use shanks.

  •  2 hind shanks (350 to 400g each)
  • 600g boneless lamb shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon each dried herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, mint)
  • 1 teaspoon spice for lamb (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 brown onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup dry red wine or rosé
  • 1 tablespoon fruit chutney
  • 5 small to medium potatoes
  • 3 medium vine tomatoes
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 150g baked ham (leftover from Sunday roast)
  • 1 tablespoon of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 carrots
  • 400g butternut (half of a large butternut)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 6 beetroots, pre-cooked
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 135 minutes
  • Total Time: 155 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

1. Prepare all the vegetables: roughly chop the onions, crush the garlic, peel the potatoes then chop into cubes, chop the tomatoes, peel and cube the butternut, scrape and chop the carrots, julienne the green pepper and slice the pre-cooked beets.

2. Cut the lamb shoulder into inch sized cubes and set next to the lamb shanks.

3. Take the flour, pepper, herbs and spices and mix together to create a rub to coat the meat in.

4. Take a large zip seal food bag and place the meat inside. Tip the flour and seasoning mix into the bag, zip seal and shake around to ensure all the meat is coated in the flour and seasonings.

5. Heat up 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the potjie pot or other suitable heavy based cast iron pot if cooking on the stove. Add the coated meat pieces and brown in the pot.

6. Remove the browned meat from the pot, add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions and garlic to fry until just translucent.

7. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pot then add the fruit chutney and stir.

8. Add the ham, potatoes and tomatoes and mix. Add the chicken stock cube, crush it into the pot and allow to dissolve. Immediately return the browned meat to the pot and stir well. Add the Worcestershire sauce and give a final stir.

9. The potjie ingredients by now should appear to be stewing. Pour in the cup of water, ensuring it is enough to just cover the meat. Now layer the butternut, carrots, peppers and beetroots into the pot to create 2 layers of the vegetables.

10. Cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours. Remember, no stirring! The vegetables should steam cook and reduce in volume and the liquid sauce will have reached the top of the potjie.

Serve with bread in 2 ways:

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