Caryl’s Recipe Collection – Karoo Lamb Shank

Esona Lamb Shank

My Story…

My mom and mother-in-law generally ordered their meat from a country butcher (1965 – 1975). When I was first married I gave my weekly order to my mom-in-law, usually a small leg of lamb, a pound of beef mince, and an aitchbone or corned silverside. The meat was relatively cheaper then than now and we made a little go a long way.

The lamb we ordered then was from the Malmesbury area quite unlike any you find in our supermarkets today. The Karoo has become home to the tastiest lamb in South Africa. The flesh is especially tasty depending on the area they came from. These days, the Laingsburg lambs are highly praised and sought after.

My own mom loved cooking a leg of lamb on Sundays for lunch, with crispy potatoes and all the trimmings. We usually had the shank attached then, it was always the softest and sweetest part of the leg!

I enjoy cooking lamb shanks at our farm for our ‘Taste of Africa’ meals. Guests return again when they know it’s on the menu.

Delicious enjoyed with our Esona Shiraz wine and plenty of good company!!

My Recipe – Karoo Lamb Shank

  • Ask your butcher for the hind shank, they’re meatier.
  • 6 lamb shanks (1 per person)
  • ½ bottle Port Wine
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled; 2 onions
  • A few sticks of celery and 3 Julienned carrots
  • 1 cup chicken stock (warm)
  • Lots of fresh rosemary. Peel of 2 washed naartjies, cut up


  • Set oven at 180°
  • Roll each shank in flour and place it in a roasting pan with veg ingredients and port mixed with stock. Throw in plenty of Rosemary and naartjie peel for flavour. Do not add salt.
  • Cover tightly with foil and place in oven. After 20 minutes turn the oven down to 150°
  • Bake on low heat for 2 hours.

Enjoy the aroma (with a glass of Esona Shiraz) and then baste the meat. Depending on the size of the shanks, another hour or two in the oven will ensure they are very tender and ready to pull off the bones!

  • Make a ‘gravy’ with juices from the lamb pan, adding a dash more port if necessary. Taste the sauce for seasoning, and thicken with cornflour.

Enjoy with Esona Shiraz

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