Cocoa and Horopito Crusted Lamb Shanks

Lamb shanks have long been a favourite with my family and we enjoy the aroma that permeates the kitchen when I cook this dish. It can stretch to as many lamb shanks as you want by adjusting the quantities. Horopito has a hot peppery flavour and it complements lemon – if you don’t have access to dried horopito and can increase the quantities of pepper and lemon. I am delighted that there are now New Zealand condiments from our native plants that that we can add to recipes.

Serves 4



4 lamb shanks
40g flour
40g finely ground cocoa
2 dessertspoons horopito (you can get dried horopito from Farro Fresh)
1 lemon
2 tablespoons odourless oil e.g. canola
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 carrots sliced
2 onions, diced
200ml white wine
375ml beef stock
1 x 440g can Italian tomatoes.
1 x 440g can Italian tomatoes.
1 cup Kalamata olives
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Mix the flour and cocoa together in a bag, place the lamb shanks in the bag and toss in the flour cocoa mixture.

Braise the lamb shanks in the oil and place in the roasting dish

Gently fry the chopped onions, carrot and garlic and then add to the lamb in the roasting dish with the zest of one lemon. Add the wine stock, horopito and juice from one lemon, position the shanks side by side, cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours.

Remove the lamb shanks and place on a serving dish and cover with foil.

Place the roasting dish with the contents on an element and add the mashed canned tomatoes, reduce the liquid by about 1/3 add the olives and heat through.

Taste and season with salt and pepper and pour the sauce over the lamb shanks.

Serve with green beans and mashed potatoes.