The Karoo is a vast, arid place — desert country. Entirely devoid of surface water, it’s little wonder the name is derived from the Khoisan word for “land of thirst.” Yet, despite all the odds, desert vegetation proliferates, even flourishes. This distinctive flora leaves its imprint on everything, including Karoo lamb.
Karoo lamb is considered by many as the best lamb in South Africa because of its exceptional quality and unique flavour. Karoo sheep mainly feed on the indigenous Karoobossie, giving them a distinctive rich, herby aroma and succulent texture, so the meat itself does not even need to be marinated in advance. Since the late 1880s, Karoo lamb has become central to South Africa’s culinary heritage as one of the country’s many homegrown products that contribute to our diverse culinary landscape. Its inclusion in traditional South African dishes, such as the iconic potjiekos and beloved braai, showcases its importance as a cultural staple. From its humble beginnings in the rugged Karoo region to its place on South Africa’s food stage, Karoo lamb continues to be cherished as a gastronomic gem and a source of national pride.
“Karoo lamb is part of South Africa’s core brand identity and must be promoted and protected,” says Ian Halfon, proprietor of Belthazar. Belthazar treats its Karoo lamb chops with the utmost care, serving them in thick cuts to preserve moisture, flavour intensity and juiciness. Our lamb shank is slowly braised in red wine, making it the ideal winter comfort food.