RECIPE: Celebrate Herb and Spice Day with this slow-cooked lamb shank recipe by Chef Alex Torrão

Published Jun 10, 2024


Today is Herb and Spice Day and what better way to celebrate the day than getting creative with all the different herbs and spices we all enjoy cooking with?

Herb and Spice Day serves as a poignant reminder of the integral role seasoning plays in elevating culinary experiences.

It's a day to celebrate the myriad of aromas, flavours and textures that these humble ingredients bring to our tables.

From enhancing the simplest dishes to elevating gourmet creations, herbs and spices are the unsung heroes of every kitchen.

Cape Herb & Spice joins forces with the renowned Chef Alex Torrão for this year's celebration.

With roots in Macau and a passion for culinary exploration, Chef Alex brings a multicultural twist to street food as the owner of Eighty8’s Food Co in Randburg.

From falling in love with food at the first bite of a side-street noodle to becoming a household name with multiple nominations and awards for his food truck, Chef Alex's culinary journey is truly remarkable.

Infusing his South African-Portuguese heritage into innovative street food creations, he embodies the essence of Herb & Spice Day.

Speaking about the collaboration, Shelley Barnard from Cape Herb & Spice says, “Chef Alex's passion for outdoor cooking adds a unique dimension to the collaboration, infusing an adventurous spirit into the celebration. Alex comes with a passion to motivate his audience to engage with food in their own kitchens, urging them to step out of their comfort zones and embrace culinary adventures.”

Chef Alex’s slow-cooked lamb shanks. Picture: Supplied

Here’s the recipe for Chef Alex’s slow-cooked lamb shanks

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 3 hours

Serves 4


4 Lamb Shanks

1 Tbsp Cape Herb & Spice Louisiana Cajun rub

1 Tbsp Cape Herb & Spice Peri Peri rub

1 Tbsp Cape Herb & Spice Atlantic sea salt

1 Tbsp Cape Herb & Spice Black peppercorns

1 Tbsp Cape Herb & Spice Paprika

1 Cup olive oil

5 Garlic cloves

1 White onion (roughly chopped)

2 Carrots (roughly chopped)

1 Can tomato puree or Passata

2 Sticks celery (roughly chopped)

2 Fresh Bay leaves

2 Sticks fresh Rosemary

500ml Beef stock

250ml Red wine


● Preheat oven to 200℃ (woodfired - or gas pizza oven can also be used)

● Generously drizzle the lamb shanks with olive oil. Apply Cape Herb & Spice Paprika, Cape Herb & Spice Louisiana Cajun rub and Cape Herb & Spice Peri Peri Rub until the shanks are evenly covered.

Add some Cape Herb & Spice Atlantic sea salt and Cape Herb & Spice Black peppercorns.

● Heat a pan and sear shanks evenly on all sides, roughly 3 minutes per side. This can be done over an open fire, gas, or electric stove. Set the shanks aside in a deep-dish oven tray.

● Using the same pan, drizzle a little more olive oil and add your white onion, crushed garlic, carrots, celery, and aromatics (bay leaves and rosemary). Cook until onions and celery are soft.

● Pour wine onto the pan and cook off the alcohol, followed by adding the tomato puree. Pour the mixture over the shanks, and finally pour over your beef stock.

● Cover with aluminum foil, twice.

● Put the tray in the oven, reduce the temperature to 160℃ and leave for 3 hours.

● After 3 hours, remove from the oven and slightly open. Pour juices/sauce through a sieve into a saucepan and reduce by half.

● Set aside the reduced sauce to serve with the lamb shanks.

IOL Lifestyle