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braised lamb shank with red wine reduction and mash potatoes

Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank with Rosemary & Thyme served with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Why Braised?

Braising is a cooking method that involves slow-cooking meat or vegetables in a covered pot or pan with a small amount of liquid. It's a popular technique for tougher cuts of meat because it helps to tenderize them through low, moist heat over an extended period.

How to Achieve the Perfect Braise?

  1. Choose the Right Cut: Lamb shanks are a great choice for braising because they are tough cuts that benefit from slow cooking. They have a lot of connective tissue that breaks down during braising, resulting in tender, flavorful meat. Other cuts suitable for braising include shoulder and leg.
  2. Sear the Meat: Before braising, it's important to sear the lamb shanks on all sides. This step helps to develop flavor by caramelizing the meat and creates a nice crust. Searing also helps to lock in juices.
  3. Use Aromatics: Aromatics like onions, carrots, celery, and garlic add depth of flavor to the braising liquid. These vegetables release their flavors as they cook and infuse the meat with their delicious essence.
  4. Choose the Right Liquid: While water can be used for braising, using flavorful liquids like wine, broth, or a combination of both adds richness and complexity to the dish. Red wine is a classic choice for lamb, but you can also use white wine or beer depending on your preference.
  5. Low and Slow Cooking: Braising is a slow cooking method that requires low heat over a long period of time. This allows the collagen in the meat to break down, resulting in tender, succulent meat. Make sure to maintain a gentle simmer throughout the cooking process.
  6. Keep it Covered: It's important to cover the pot or skillet when braising to trap moisture and heat. This helps the meat cook evenly and prevents it from drying out.
  7. Check for Doneness: Lamb shanks are done when the meat is fork-tender and easily pulls away from the bone. This typically takes about 2.5 to 3 hours of braising, but cooking times may vary depending on the size of the shanks and your oven.
  8. Rest Before Serving: Once the lamb shanks are done braising, allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring each bite is moist and flavorful.


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