Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 3.5 hours. An extra 25 minutes for the risotto
4 Fresh Karoo hindquarter lamb shanks
4 carrots – peeled and diced
1 large onion – peeled and diced
3 celery Sticks – diced
3 garlic cloves – crushed
1 x 450g tin whole peeled tomatoes
350ml dry white wine
2 sprigs rosemary
100g stone ground flour
1 bay leaf
Sea salt and black pepper
For the Risotto
250g Arborio risotto rice
1 onion very finely diced
125ml dry white wine
½ tspn saffron threads
6 Tbspn unsalted butter
½ cup grated Grana Padano
5 cups chicken stock – warm
Preheat the oven to 160°C
Season the flour well and roll the shanks in the flour in a small tray, coating very well.
Place a large casserole on a medium heat and melt the butter. Brown the Shanks on all sides and remove from the casserole once brown.
Add the carrot, onion, celery and garlic and sweat off for 5 minutes.
Deglaze with the white and bring to a boil – break the tinned tomatoes up in your hand and add to the casserole. Add the bay leaf and rosemary sprigs.
Using a fine grater such as a “microplane”, zest the orange straight into the casserole. Squeeze the juice of the orange into the dish and add the lamb shanks back into the casserole. Add the pinch of cinnamon
Make sure the shanks are just covered in the sauce – add a touch of chicken stock or water to top up if needed and bring back to a light simmer.
Place the lid on the casserole and transfer to the oven for 3 hours or until the shanks are soft and tender.
Skim any excess fat from the top, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed and serve.
Method for the risotto
Soak the saffron in the white wine and allow to stand for about 30 minutes.
Place a large, heavy-based saucepan on a medium heat and cook the onion in a tablespoon of butter until soft and translucent.
Add the rice and cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the saffron wine and turn the heat up a little. Once almost all the wine has evaporated, add a ladle of warm chicken stock – stirring regularly. Add another ladle of stock and keep cooking, stirring and adding stock until the rice is al dente but not raw and grainy – taste as you go!
Once you are happy with the rice, turn the heat right down and stir in the cheese. Add a touch of stock if needed and gently fold in the rest of the butter.
Taste and adjust seasoning – be careful if you used salted butter not to over season the risotto.
If you like to keep things very traditional and rather rich, replace one third of the butter in the risotto with bone marrow – simply soak the marrow bones in water for an hour – push marrow out of the bone and melt into the saucepan at the beginning when frying the onion.
Michael’s wine recommendation – click here
Stefan Marais is the Executive Chef of the Societi Group which owns The Societi Bistro in Orange Street Cape Town and The Brasserie in Tokai. He recently appeared on the South African Chopped, which he won with this recipe.