Win a Potjiekos Competition with Lamb Shanks and a chef in the making…….

Did you know  that there is a potjiekos( a stew that is prepared outdoors in a black cast iron pot) recipe for every outdoor(ish) kinda dad in this country of ours. Everyone swears by their technique and recipe and sometimes I learn from them and sometimes I just listen for the sake of being polite. There are those who say “Never stir a pot!”, others say:
“No Flames!” and then there is the heated debate between a round pot versus a flat bottom pot. I don’t know all the secrets, but I do know that I make a mean potjie and after Saturday I believe the tradition will live on in my family..we have a little budding chef in our midst!
On Saturday we had our annual potjiekos competition and for months and weeks preceding this event, everyone is frantically searching for a recipe that can walk away with the trophy. I heard ideas for a biltong potjie(little pot), venison pots, vegetable pots even curry pots.
By now you all know that our little missus broke her ankle 8 weeks ago and at all these events, she feels a bit left out as all the children run around playing anything from soccer to touch rugby and she is stuck in a wheelchair. So when she announced that she will be making a pot, I was delighted! She had it all figured out, what kind of meat she wanted, what spices, what will be best for a side dish and the presentation for the judges.(I think she gets it from me, he-he!)This was all entirely her idea!

All you want to know about Potjiekos, you can find here!

Provencal Lamb Shanks with Samp

6  whole Lamb shanks
6 rosemary sprigs plus some for the pot
2 lemons – peels and juice
2 tins chopped tomatoes
about 1 liter chicken or vegetable stock
2-3  medium onions – finely chopped
1 cup good quality red wine
olive oil

To make the tomato paste

4 cloves of roasted garlic – available from the Smoking Shed
250gr sun dried tomatoes – re hydrated in warm water
1 green pepper – diced
½ cup roasted Bell pepper flakes
a little olive oil

Place all the ingredient sin a food processor and pulse until it becomes a smooth paste.

Dry rub

2 tbsp dry coriander – roasted
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
½ tsp cloves

Place all the dry spices in a grinder and grind to a coarse rub.

With a very small knife, make an incision next to the bone of each lamb shank.Push a piece of lemon peel and a sprig of rosemary in each one. Now drizzle some olive oil on each lamb shank and rub the dry rub into the meat. Heat your cast iron pot on the fire until it is really hot, add some olive oil and brown the lamb shanks on all sides. Remove from the pot and add some more olive oil. Saute the onions until slightly brown. Place the lamb shanks back in the pot with the red wine, stock, a few sprigs of rosemary a few more lemon peels, the juice of them lemons and some salt and pepper.Also add the tomato paste that you have made. Place the lid back on the pot and allow to cook for 3 hours. Check every now and then to see if  your pot  needs a little water, add some if it is the case. If it needs a little more heat, add a few more coals to the Your end result must be fall-of-the-fork tender meat with a rich thick tomato stew. Serve on fire.polenta, rice, mash or with chunks of ciabatta.
We served this on samp for a true South African tweak on this classic, If you are not familiar with samp, I explained it all over here!!!

Cook’s Notes

– This recipes can be made in the oven as well. Follow the steps until you place the lid on and then pop it in    the oven for 3 hours.
– You can add potatoes to your “stew” but for us it is perfect just the way it is.
– For more deliciousness, serve with a dollop of Basil pesto and some Parmesan shavings!

PS, Little madam did not win this competition, but she is so inspired now that she has next year’s menu all laid out already!!!

Now for the winner of my book give-away!!! (Drum roll please) There are indeed 77 posts in my “Baked Goods” category. The lucky lady who’s name was drawn from a hat, is Pam from For the Love of Cooking. Congratulations Pam, I am so thrilled. You have been a loyal supporter since I started this blog. 
For those who were not as lucky this time, don’t despair, there are a lots more give-aways to come.