Braised Lamb

Yesterday I shared this dish with some family members. It’s a great base to serve just is or you can opt to serve it over pasta or gnocchi as well.

Yields 10 portions

Ingredient

1ea Leg of Lamb
TT Salt and Pepper
24cl Garlic, minced
3ea Onion, chopped
3ea Celery, chopped
3ea Carrot, chopped
2C Dry red wine
1C Warm water
1C Dry morel or other mushroom
1C Dry winecap or other mushroom
1Qt Chicken Stock or Water
2ea Sprigs of thyme, rosemary and parsley

Method

1. Season lamb leg liberally with salt and pepper and place directly on a baking sheet with an at least a 1/2 inch lip. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. While waiting, tie herbs in a bundle and secure with butcher’s twine. Reconstitute mushrooms in warm water, you want to the return to their original soft state; once they get there set them in a separate container and save the liquid. Preheat oven to 450F.

2. Sear lamb in oven until golden brown, takes 30 minutes or longer. While lamb is searing prepare vegetables. Using the same pan that you plan to braise in, heat the pan with a small amount of oil until wisps of smoke form. Caramelize the vegetables by placing them in the pan and letting them cook undisturbed for 1 minute or longer, until good color forms. (You can check this by moving a small portion of the vegetables but be careful, if you mix it you will disrupt the caramelization process.) Once you get some good color on the vegetables give them a quick stir and then let them caramelize again. Repeat this process once more and then add your garlic and deglaze the pan with red wine. Reduce the mixture to syrupy consistency and cook out all the alcohol.

3. Add your stock and mushroom water to the pot and bring to a simmer, taste this and season lightly. This will reduce as it cooks so do not overseason. Remove lamb from oven when ready, place in pot and lower the oven to 300F. Deglaze the roasting pan with some of the hot liquid from the pot, ensuring you scrape all those bits of caramelized meat from the pan. Pour that liquid back into the pot, add your bouquet of herbs and place in oven.

4. Cook for 25 minutes and then, without opening the oven, lower the temperature to 225F. Cook the leg until tender – this could take 4 hours or longer. Taste the meat, if it isn’t tender it isn’t done; braising isn’t timed, it’s about ensuring your final product is super tender. While the leg is cooking use this time to slice the mushrooms and prepare your starch.

5. Remove leg and place in a separate vessel. Drain fat from cooking liquid and then strain out the solids. Pour some liquid back over the leg to keep it moist and return the rest to your pot. Remove the bouquet of herbs! Puree solids in a blender until smooth. Pour that puree back into the pot. At this point, pour the liquid off the leg into the pot, add in your mushrooms and season. Pull the meat from the bone in large chunks and place in liquid. Serve immediately over your choice of starch or as is!

As I mentioned I used gnocchi with my preparation, the recipe can be found here. If that’s how you want to serve it, I’d reccomend cooking your gnocchi first and then sauteeing them in a pan to get some great color. Add your braise and reheat on a simmer and serve.

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