Kapama, the Greek word for stew, can be made with chicken, goat or rabbit. The saffron used here dyes the mashed potato a luminous yellow and imparts a subtle floral note to the dish.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (6 votes)


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 kg lamb shanks 
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 400 g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 750 ml merlot
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 4 cloves
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve


Saffron mashed potatoes

  • 1 kg desiree or sebago potatoes, peeled, cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream or milk
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 40 g butter, at room temperature

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat oil in a large, heavy-based pan over medium heat. Brown lamb shanks, turning for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add onion and garlic to pan and cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Add tomatoes, carrot, merlot, cinnamon, bay leaves, thyme and cloves, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Return lamb to the pan, cover and cook for 1 hour or until the meat is almost falling off the bone.

Meanwhile, to make saffron mashed potatoes, place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, place cream and saffron in a small saucepan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes to infuse cream.

Drain potatoes, add butter and mash until smooth. Slowly add cream mixture, stirring continuously until combined.

Remove and discard cinnamon, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and cloves from stew. Scatter parsley over lamb and serve with saffron mashed potatoes.

©2012 Maria Benardis



Photography by Katie Kaars.


As seen in Feast magazine, November 2011, Issue 3. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.