Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to make a simple Braised Lamb!

I have been craving to cook something at home. I love making some wet and soft comfort food like beef cheek or osso buco maybe even Hungarian goulash. But what is the point of cooking it but none at home can eat with me?

After some thinking... Lamb! Thinking of lamb i was also thinking of trying out some spices i saw at work but never use before. I went to google it on its flavour profile and usage.

Here is how it goes...

Espelette Pepper. Use just a little for garnish and for its flavour. Not spicy at all. Nice

This is the spice mix i was pretty alien to. After some wiki and google, manage to see the list of ingredient that goes into the mix. Pretty North African/Arabic kind of mix. Should be good for dry rubs and flavouring stew.

Ever since i started culinary, the first dry spice that got me hooked should be this. I love the sweet and smokey flavours that goes well in most food.

Yesterday after work, i drop by the supermarket to pick up some stuff so i could marinade the meat in advance. I cut the lamb shoulder into large chunks so i can get some nice bite out of it.

I did a dry rub with Ras el Hanout and smoked paprika then coat with with some really good evoo to seal in the flavour.

Tonight when i reached home, i started first with the mirepox. Roast it with some olive oil.

Put the roasted mirepox into a pot of stock (about 2L, lamb is preferred but chicken, beef or veal will do...) with a bottle of red wine, throw in some thyme and rosemary. Let it simmer away for about 1-2 hour then strain.

Meanwhile, coat the lamb with flour, sear the lamb and give it a nice colour. No need to be fully cooked.

Put it straight into a pot. I also throw in a can of tomato concasse, more fresh herbs and aged balsamic vinegar to give it that extra oomph of flavour. With that i'm sure the sweetness and acidity will be perfect :)

then i move on to peel and deseed some pepper and heat a pan till its super smoking hot and add in the pepper. Tossing it so it seal the outside of the pepper quickly but not over cooking it. This will help keep the pepper in shape after braising.

Just throw all the pepper into the pot and also strain the braising liquid and add into the pot with the lamb.

Cover it with foil, about 180 DegC for 45-1h. I don't want it too soft till it loses any bite to it but still soft and tender to be chewed easily by any old man.

After its done, strain the sauce into another saucepan and reduce it. I added some garlic and more fresh herbs. Also added a small block of butter giving the sauce a nice sheen to it.

After it is reduced (about 20-30min) to a nice sauce like consistency. Look at the colour of the sauce... Superbe...

Recombine it with the meat and you are done. Simple and Delicious right?

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