This post is sponsored by Fat Bastard Wines
Some emails are better than others. Like the email where Fat Bastard Wines asked me to be a part of their upcoming 21st birthday celebrations. I immediately said yes, how could I resist celebrating with such iconic South African wines. I was matched to The Golden Reserve blend and the golden colour of the bottle cap was my inspiration to create this Saffron and Butternut Samp Risotto with Lamb Knuckle Stew.

The Golden Reserve blend is a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend, the palate rich and full with an intense, dark ruby colour. Luxurious aromas and flavours of dark berry fruit and plum entice the senses, living up to the words “Where bold meets gold”. So it made sense to create a meal that is bold, delicious and of course, splashes of gold.

Saffron & Butternut Samp Risotto with Lamb Knuckle Stew

The wine pairs beautifully with lamb so making a comforting slow cooked lamb knuckle stew was an obvious choice.  Uncomplicated, simple ingredients, including a good amount of The Golden Reserve,  cooked low and slow to create a delicious melt in the mouth, celebratory meal.

Saffron & Butternut Samp Risotto with Lamb Knuckle Stew

In addition to the lamb stew, I wanted to create a dish that plays with that golden colour of the bottle cap. One of my favourite foodies suggested a risotto with saffron and butternut, an idea that I loved. But I wanted to showcase that the most humble of ingredients can be part of a celebration and from there I chose to use samp rather than the usual arborio rice.

Saffron & Butternut Samp Risotto with Lamb Knuckle Stew

Samp is a South African food of dried corn that has been stamped and chopped until coarsely broken. I soaked the samp for a few hours and then cooked it as you would a risotto. It worked really well, the samp taking on a beautiful golden hue from the saffron, packed with flavour and a delicious accompaniment for the rich lamb stew.

Saffron & Butternut Samp Risotto with Lamb Knuckle Stew

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Saffron & Butternut Samp Risotto with Lamb Knuckle Stew. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred

Saffron and Butternut Samp Risotto with Lamb Knuckle Stew


  • Lamb Knuckle Stew :
  • 2 kg lamb knuckles
  • 2 tbsp lamb spice or bbq mix of your choice
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, mashed
  • few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 250ml Fat Bastard The Golden Reserve wine
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 350ml hot stock
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • few sprigs of rosemary
  • Saffron and Butternut Samp Risotto :
  • 400g samp, uncooked, soaked in water for 3 hours and drained
  • 750g butternut, cut into chunks
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • sea salt flakes
  • a knob of butter
  • 15ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 250ml Fat Bastard Sauvignon Blanc (at room temperature)
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • 1l warm vegetable stock
  • To finish
  • a knob of butter
  • 40g grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Lamb Knuckle Stew :
  2. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C
  3. Dust the knuckles with the spice mix
  4. Heat some oil in a heavy-based casserole pot with lid and brown the knuckles in batches over a medium high heat
  5. Remove from the pot and set aside
  6. In the same pot, add another glug of oil and fry the onions, carrots and celery for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent
  7. Add the garlic and thyme and fry for a further 5 minutes
  8. Pour in the red wine and scrape off all bits stick to the bottom of the pot
  9. Add the knuckles, bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes with the lid off
  10. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and stock
  11. Give it a good stir and season well with sea salt flakes and and ground black pepper
  12. Add the sugar and rosemary, place the lid on top and cook for 60 minutes
  13. Remove the lid, and cook for another 90 minutes or so until the lamb is tender and the sauce reduced and thickened
  14. Saffron and Butternut Samp Risotto :
  15. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
  16. Place the butternut on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the chilli flakes
  17. Give a good mix and roast for 30 – 40 minutes until cooked and caramelised on the edges
  18. Remove from the oven and set aside
  19. Add the butter and olive oil to a large heavy-based pot and melt over medium-high heat
  20. Once melted add the onion and pinch of salt
  21. Cook for about 10 minutes until the onions have softened and are translucent
  22. Add the thyme and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes
  23. Add the samp and give a good stir to coat the samp with the oil and butter
  24. Add the wine in 2 stages, stirring until the wine has been absorbed after each addition
  25. Add the saffron to the stock and give it a stir
  26. Gradually add the stock, ladle by ladle, to the samp only adding the next ladle once the stock is absorbed
  27. Continue over a medium low heat until all the stock has been stirred in and absorbed
  28. The samp should be just cooked
  29. (add more stock if needed until the samp is cooked through)
  30. Stir in the knob of butter and cheese and season to taste
  31. Add the roasted butternut and gently mix in
  32. Serve with the lamb knuckle stew
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A few more of my favourite comfort recipes :

Quinoa and Mushroom Risotto

Roast Leg of Lamb

Roast Lamb

Fried Risotto Balls

Fried Risotto Balls

Yoghurt Marinated Lamb Curry

Yoghurt Marinated Lamb Curry


Honey and Tahini Cookies
Aperol and Olive Oil Cupcakes



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