Lamb recipes for Easter.

When I think of lamb, I normally conjure up a picture in my head of a scrumptious lamb roast. Going through my recipes, I realised that there is so much more you can do with lamb. So here are six quite different ways to prepare that special meat. Some are very South African, but all are extremely delicious. So if you are preparing to meditate on the true meaning of Easter and want to enjoy some comfort food as well, try an Easter lamb dish.

Lamb pot

Split peas are a terrific thickener and add an almost velvety texture to this special recipe.


  • For the marinade, mix:
  • 2 T lamb rub
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 T paprika
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 T olive oil
  • For the lamb:
  • 1 1⁄2 kg stewing lamb
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 180 g split peas
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 400 g baby potatoes, washed
  • 100 g frozen petit-pois
  • 20 g Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • pap, for serving


1. Place the lamb in the marinade, cover with clingwrap and chill overnight, or for 1 hour if you’re pressed for time.

2. Heat a potjie on the coals and sear the lamb in the olive oil until golden. Add the onion, celery and garlic. Fry for 4–5 minutes or until the onions caramelise and soften.

3. Add the split peas and season. Stir, then pour in the stock. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

4. Stir in the potatoes and rosemary and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through but still retain their shape, about 25 minutes. Stir in the peas and parsley. Serve with the pap.


Denningvleis is a traditional Cape Malay bredie that is made for special occasions and is also one of the oldest Cape Malay recipes. It’s sweet and tangy and made with tamarind paste. This recipe has been adapted using vinegar and sugar instead.


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 kgs lamb knuckles
  • 5 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green peppers, finely chopped
  • 3 allspice/pimento
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1¼ t salt
  • 1 T ground black pepper
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 6 T brown spirit vinegar
  • 4 T sugar


1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium to high heat. Add the meat and brown well all over. This can be done in two batches – the browner the better.

2. Remove the meat from the pan. Add the onions, green pepper, allspice and bay leaves and fry until brown.

3. Add the garlic, lamb, salt, pepper and chilli and fry for 6–8 minutes, stirring when necessary. The meat and onions should be a dark brown.

4. Add 3 cups hot water to cover the meat and cook over a medium heat until most of the liquid has cooked away, stirring when necessary. Add the vinegar and sugar, stir, then reduce the heat to medium low. Add 2 cups hot water to cover the meat and cook until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. Stir when necessary. Serve with buttery mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.

Lamb shin with dumplings

A great dish for snuggling on the couch watching TV!


  • For the dumplings
  • 1 kg cake flour 
  • 2 t salt 
  • 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water 
  • 1 T sugar 
  • 1 x 10 g packet dry active yeast  
  • 4 T butter, melted 
  • For the meaty stew:
  • 1 kg lamb shin 
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
  • oil, for frying 
  • 2 onions, chopped 
  • 1 T ginger-and-garlic paste 
  • 2 t garam masala 
  • 2 large tomatoes, blended 
  • 2 beef stock cubes  
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 2 litres water 
  • 3 large carrots, cut into chunks 
  • 4 large baby marrows, cut into chunks 


1. To make the dumplings, mix the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the water, sugar and yeast. Cover and set aside until the yeast starts to rise, about 15 minutes.
2. Once the yeast has risen, whisk in the melted butter and slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until a stiff dough starts to form.
3. Knead for 8–10 minutes, or until smooth. Place in a greased heatproof bowl, then allow to it rise until it has doubled in size.
4. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add a generous amount of oil to a large saucepan, then seal the meat for 1 minute on each side. Add the onions and ginger-and-garlic paste and sweat until soft and lightly browned.
5. Add the spices and cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the tomatoes, then add the stock cubes and bay leaves. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
6. Add the meat and water. Increase the heat to high and, once it starts boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, stirring often. Once the liquid has reduced by half, add the vegetables. Portion the dumpling dough into five pieces and cook in the stew, until the dough is cooked. To test if it’s cooked run a skewer or toothpick, when it comes out clean it means it’s cooked.

Lamb ribs with chimichurri baby potatoes and crunchy radishes


  • 2x 500 g lamb riblets.
  • 1x 700 g pack baby potatoes with garlic-and-herb butter
  • 15 g mint, chopped
  • 15 g Italian parsley, chopped
  • 15 g basil, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 chillies, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • radishes, sliced, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Roast the lamb riblets for 20–25 minutes, turning once until crispy.
2. Microwave the baby potatoes according to package instructions.
3. Using a pestle and mortar or blender, combine the chopped mint, Italian parsley, basil, crushed garlic, chillies, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste.
4. Toss the potatoes in the herbs and serve with the riblets, garnished with fresh sliced radishes and mint.

Leftover lamb prego rolls

You can use any leftover meat for this recipe. This is my go-to, on-the-sofa dinner. Just remember lots of napkins and large plates as it’s messy. There’s one rule: no cutlery! The roll is the most important part of the recipe.


  • For the prego sauce:
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 T harissa paste
  • 1 cup tomato passata
  • 1⁄3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1⁄2 cup white wine
  • 1 t sugar
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 t thyme, finely chopped
  • 50 g leftover cooked lamb
  • For serving:
  • 6 flour-dusted prego rolls
  • 600 g leftover leg of lamb, flaked into chunky pieces


1. To prepare the sauce, blend all the ingredients at full speed.

2. Place the sauce and the flaked lamb in a saucepan and heat over a low heat until the meat has reheated properly.

3. Heat the rolls in the oven at 180°C for 5 minutes, or until crusty and very hot to the touch.

4. Cut open the buns and dip the open surfaces into the sauce to soak up some of the sauce. Scoop about 100 g of the meaty sauce into each bun.

Lamb ragù pasta


  • 4 T canola oil
  • 1 x 2.4 kg free-range leg of lamb
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 4 shallots, halved
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 4 leeks, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves  
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 cup white or rosé wine (or 1⁄3 cup red wine vinegar)
  • 3 x 400 g cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 140 g tomato paste
  • 4 cups lamb or beef stock
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 T butter
  • 400 g pappardelle pasta
  • 60 g Parmesan, grated
  • fried sage, for serving


1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Heat the canola oil in a large cast-iron pan over a high heat and sear the lamb until golden brown. Set aside.

2. In the same pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat, then add the shallots, onion, celery, leeks, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary and sauté for 5 minutes.

3. Add the wine, tomatoes, tomato paste and stock. Bring to the boil, season and add the lamb to the sauce. Dot with the butter, then cover tightly with greaseproof paper, foil and a lid. Roast for 5–6 hours, or until the meat falls off the bone.

4. Remove the lamb from the oven and remove the meat from the bone.

5. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, then serve with ragù, Parmesan and fried sage.

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