Sweetfontein Lamb Shank


  • 6 lamb shanks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, cut into 2 cm rounds
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle red wine
  • 1 (335g) can whole peeled tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (310ml) can condensed chicken broth
  • 1 (310ml) can beef broth
  • 5 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

“Lamb shanks are slowly simmered with fresh rosemary, garlic, tomatoes, and red wine. Great served with polenta, or Sweetfontein’s favourite–roasted garlic mashed potatoes–as you need something to soak up the wonderful sauce. A fantastic dish for company, as all the prep work is done at the beginning, and then you just have to wait.”


  1. Sprinkle shanks with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook shanks until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer shanks to plate.
  2. Add onions, carrots and garlic to pot and saute until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in wine, tomatoes, chicken broth and beef broth. Season with rosemary and thyme. Return shanks to pot, pressing down to submerge. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer until meat is tender, about 2 hours.
  3. Remove cover from pot. Simmer about 20 minutes longer. Transfer shanks to platter, place in a warm oven. Boil juices in pot until thickened, about 15 minutes. Spoon over shanks.

Karoo Lamb Chops


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup lemon juice)
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme & rosemary mix
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 lamb chops
  • 1 tbsp olive oil for cooking


  1. Using paper towels, pat dry chops and discard any shards or bone fragments.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small jug or bowl.
  3. Arrange lamb chops in a large baking dish or on a large plate, and pour the marinade all over the lamb, rubbing it into the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for half an hour, or for a deeper flavour, marinate overnight in the refrigerator, turning the chops from time to time (before cooking, let lamb chops sit at room temp 30 minutes).
  4. Heat oil in a pan (cast iron preferably or grill plates) over high heat until just starting to smoke. Fry or grill lamb in 2 batches for 3-4 minutes each side, depending on thickness until done to your liking. (Usually, at 3 minutes per side they are medium, and at 4 minutes they are medium-well.)
  5. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Sprinkle with a little extra dried oregano for added flavour and a little extra lemon juice (optional).


For left over marinade: reduce heat down to medium-low leaving any leftover drippings in the pan. When pan has lowered in heat, pour in the leftover marinade along with 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/4 cup beef broth. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for at least 5 minutes. Stir in a tablespoon of lemon juice and serve with the lamb.

Grilled Sheep Tails – Skaapstertjies


  • 1 kg cleaned sheep tails
  • Fresh sprigs of thyme or rosemary
  • Salt and pepper – about 1T/15 ml of each
  • 250 ml water
  • 30 ml biltong spice – you can buy it from most supermarkets these days – I buy the Hunters®
  • Biltong Spice from Freddy Hirsch
  • 1 – 2 lemons


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  2. Season the sheep tails with salt and pepper or use the Biltong Spice.
  3. Place in an oven casserole with sprigs of thyme or rosemary.
  4. Add the water, place the lid on and cook for 1 – 1½ hours or until the meat comes off the bones easily.
  5. This can be done the day before. You can also cook the sheep tails in your pressure cooker for 30-40 minutes. This is the only way, the meat will literally fall off the bone if you eat them.
  6. Light a fire and when the coals are medium heat, slowly grill the sheep tails to perfection.
  7. They must be a deep, golden colour.
  8. Just before serving, squeeze some lemon over the meat. Serve piping hot with warm clean face cloths for the dripping fat.