When you visit Morukuru Beach Lodge and Morukuru Ocean House our Chef Hope will treat you to her delicious, hearty menus showcasing the freshest and best of local ingredients. One recipe she will always recommend is her special creation of Crusted Rack of Lamb…with lamb sourced from the Karoo which is about three and a half hours drive from the Overberg region. The word Karoo originates from the indigenous Khoikhoi language and is thought to come from the word “garo”meaning “land of thirst.”
Now what makes meat from Karoo sheep so unique and distinct in flavour? Well it has everything to do with the climate and the botanical diversity of the vegetation. This area is exposed to extremely cold winters and sweatlering summers with very limited rainfall. The indigenous shrubs can endure this harsh climate and grow year round but grass only grows in the rainy season. The Karoo sheep mainly feed on these shrubs which are highly nutritious and have a unique herby aroma. If you ever get the chance to walk through the Karoo veld you will smell the herbs of the bushes and shrubs which are both delicately fragrant and spicy. There are six indigenous shrubs that have been scientifically proven to impart a unique herby flavour to the meat: Ankerkaroo (Pentzia incana), Kapokbos (Eriocephalus ericoides), Rivierganna (Salsola glabrescens), Silverkaroo (Plinthus karrooicus), Boegoekaroo (Pteronia glauca) and Skaapbossie (Pentzia spinescens). These delicate flavours are not unlike the more traditional tastes of rosemary, thyme, sage, eucalyptus and lavender and have an exceptional impact on the products produced in the region.
Morukuru Crusted Lamb Rack with sweet potato puree, seasonal vegetables and red wine reduction:
4 Karoo Lamb racks – French trimmed each with 3 bones (If you can’t get genuine Karoo Meat of Origin, look forethical, grass fed prime lamb.)
Dijon & Mayo as required
Salt & Pepper
Wild Basil Crust:
100 fresh bread
10 g parsley
10 g Basil
Salt and Pepper
Sweet Potato Puree
3 Sweet potato peeled and cut
500 ml cream
20 ml butter
Grilled baby marrow
Red Wine Sauce
300 ml red wine
600 ml beef stock
30 g basil sliced
1 clove garlic
Half onion roughly chopped
1 knob butter
Pre -heat oven to 180 degrees.
Start with the sweet potato puree as this will take about 20 minutes – boil the Sweet Potato and then blend together with the water, butter and cream. Set aside and keep warm.
Next make the red wine reduction which is very simple to create – combine all ingredients and boil in a heavy bottomed saucepan, reduce and strain. Keep warm on one side.
Then prepare the crust by blending all ingredients until till fine
Prepare the Lamb Rack by trimming any excess fat , season with salt and pepper to taste and seal in a pan to medium rare.
Allow to cool and then massage lamb with Dijon & mayo and cover with the crust.
Prepare the seasonal vegetable by blanching or steaming and then quickly plunge into ice cold water.
Just before serving, heat the lamb rack for another 5 minutes in the oven
Serve the lamb on a bed of sweet puree, vegetable on the side and lamb drizzled with red wine reduction.
Our owner Ed Zeeman recommends the Whalehaven Merlot to accompany this feast. (A few of our favourite Merlot moments)