Trying to plan the perfect dinner party can be stressful enough without having the added distress of a failed meal.
For a ‘surprise free’ evening its usually best to stick to tried and tested dishes however once your guests get to know your menu repertoire you’ll need to up your game to still surprise and delight. The latest season of Come Dine With Me South Africa has plenty of awkward and sometimes hilarious moments as contestants try out several ‘difficult’ dishes on their unsuspecting dinner guests with mixed reactions. To avoid the anguish the latest season of Come Dine With Me South Africa, there are tips to help you conquer some of the more challenging dishes, served on the show to date, including a Lamb Shank.
Lamb shanks, while utterly delicious, can also be a bit hair-raising to get right. If you are catering for picky guests you might want to take notes from another episode 2 contestant Katlego Ramagaga’s recipe below managed to crush it on her night – the verdict on her dish is in watch it here.
Spicy Lamb Shanks (Katlego Ramagaga)
4 lamb shanks
Olive oil, for frying
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and thickly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 x 750ml bottle red wine
500ml chicken stock
Small handful of mint leaves, to garnish
1tbsp cornflour to thicken the sauce
1 – 2 green chillies, seeded and sliced, to taste
1 – 2 red chillies, seeded and sliced, to taste
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half
3 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped and crushed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 160°C. First prepare the marinade. Mix the chillies (for a milder dish use 1 of each colour only), smoked paprika, oregano, cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and seasoning together. Rub the mixture into the lamb so that it is well flavoured. You can cook the lamb straight away, but if you have time, cover and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour, or even overnight. Heat a large casserole dish on the hob and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Brown the lamb in it for about 6 minutes until coloured on all sides, then add the chillies and cinnamon from the marinade. Add the carrots, onion and bay leaves to the casserole and brown for a minute or two. Lift the lamb so that it is resting on top of the onions and carrots. Add the red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up the bits from the bottom, then bring to the boil and cook for 7 – 8 minutes to reduce the liquid by half. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil, then transfer, uncovered, to the preheated oven. Cook for 3 hours until the meat is really tender and the sauce reduced (If the tops of the shanks look like they might be drying out, baste and occasionally turn them). Remove the cooked meat from the oven and serve garnished with torn mint leaves and the cooking juices spooned on top.
For more menu tips and fabulous moments watch Come Dine With Me South Africa, on BBC BRIT (DSTV channel 120), Thursdays at 8pm.
Source and Image: Come Dine With Me South Africa