Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Braised Lamb Shanks

I mentioned that we made Braised Lamb Shanks for Easter, right?   They were so good I thought I'd share the recipe in more detail.  I think there are a lot of people out there who have either never tried lamb, tried it and thought it "gamey" or are afraid they can't cook it themselves.  If you fit into any of these categories, this one is for you.

First a tip.  Buy your lamb shanks from a butcher or Whole Foods.  This is not an expensive cut, I think we paid $7 a pound?  But you want the quality to be good and not "gamey".

This is seriously one of those fail-proof type of recipes.  Braising anything usually provides some pretty delicious results with very minimal effort.  So, try something new!  I have a feeling you'll love this.  This recipe made me a lamb convert....poor little lambies.  :)

Braised Lamb Shanks with Sweet Soy Sauce and Star Anise, adapted from Food and Wine
1/4 cup canola oil
4 lamb shanks
12 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
8 star anise pods
3 whole cloves
2 (4 inch) cinnamon sticks
10 cups water
1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup light brown sugar

In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high.  Add the lamb shanks and brown them on all sides. Once they are brown drain out as much of the oil/fat as you can and return the dutch oven to the heat.  Turn the heat down to low and add in the garlic, star anise, cloves and cinnamon sticks and cook for about one minute or until they are fragrant.  Now add in the rest of the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Bring the pot to a boil and then lower the heat and lightly cover it so that the shanks cook at a simmer for about 2 hours.  By then the meat should be falling off the bone and very delicious.  Serve it over some rice and with a great Asian veggie like bok choy or edamame.  Enjoy!

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