Slow Cooked Lamb

This slow cooked lamb recipe makes use of sumac. This is one of my favourite flavourings to use with lamb.

Am I confused, or does New Zealand have so much lamb they can export it all over the world? And if that is the case, in the UK where do all their lambs go if you can only find New Zealand lamb in the supermarkets? When we were in Scotland we saw a LOT of lambs. It was spring and the lambs were bountiful. But in the shops all we could find was New Zealand lamb. If we wanted Scottish lamb we had to go to the butcher. Now, given the choice I would rather buy local. It is grown, slaughtered and butchered without encountering freezers and accumulating travel miles. Having eaten both choices I can tell you that the local bred lamb was far better. The New Zealand lamb is expensive but still nearly 50 percent cheaper than local lamb. Something is wrong here. Our Karoo lamb is some of the finest I’ve ever come across. It is not cheap but still works out at less per kg than what the New Zealand lamb cost us in Scotland. I’ll never complain about the price again though as I can buy South African lamb at any supermarket here.

Do you buy locally farmed meat?

Slow Cooked Lamb
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Slow Cooked Lamb

Recipe Category: Main Course


  • 2 lamb shanks
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves lightly crushed
  • Small handful of fresh mint roughly chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 75 mls Greek yoghurt
  • 5 mls olive oil
  • 250 mls red wine
  • 2 large carrots, thickly sliced
  • 2.5 mls sumac
  • 10 mls arrow root


  • Place the lamb shanks into a large Ziploc bag with the lemon zest, lemon juice, the lemon, garlic, mint and yoghurt
  • Seal the bag and rub the marinade over the lamb
  • Leave to marinade for 5 hours
  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan – I used my tagine
  • Brown the lamb and set aside
  • Deglaze the pan with the red wine
  • Add the marinade, excluding the lemon
  • Return the lamb to the pan
  • Add the carrots and the sumac
  • Cover and simmer for 2 hours
  • Preheat the oven to 160° Celsius
  • Remove the shanks after 2 hours and place into an ovenproof dish
  • Finish them off in the oven while you reduce the gravy
  • Increase the heat and mix the arrow root into the gravy
  • Stir in well, and allow to reduce until nice and thick

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