As our sunny weather slides into changing leaves and warm apple recipes, I thought I’d share with you this super easy Braised Lamb Recipe. Homemade food rocks! Better nutrition, better digestibility! It’s delicious, and only takes a few minutes of prep time. It does need to simmer for several hours, but that’s no work for you!
“Braising” means simmering meat in a very tightly closed pot, with a very small amount of flavoring liquid, for several hours. The meat can sit slightly in the flavoring liquid or sitting on top of vegetables. Flavorings like onions and garlic and herbs are added.
You almost can’t mess this up this lamb recipe, because all the flavors meld nicely, and the meat adds its juices, too, without becoming dry. Even tough meats come out of the pot soft and fork-pliable.
Easier to Digest & Use for Fuel!
Simmered meats and vegetables are really healthy to eat because they are highly digestible. The tough fibers are softened. Soup and simmered meats digest much easier than pan-fried burgers (as much as I love that crispy brown outside!) This fact make them desirable for anyone with digestion issues or the elderly, especially.
What is a “Shank”?
Lamb shanks are less costly than the leg of lamb (~$7-8), and usually found close by. This normally tough, stringy meat becomes lovely once cooked. I think lamb shank is the lower part of the animal’s leg, and less desirable for restaurants. It is one of those parts that people eat when they are eating “nose to tail”: using the whole animal for something good.
Easy Braised Lamb Shank Recipe:
Find a heavy soup pot with a heavy lid. If you have one that is oven proof, you could start this recipe on the stove and finish it in the oven. Think about some other dish (like winter squash) that you could cook in the oven at the same time.
Add to the soup pot:
4 carrots – peeled and cut in half crossways (leave in large chunks)
white onions – 2-3 small, peeled & chopped chunky
1 large garlic clove – peels and cut in large chunks
lamb shank – unwrapped, dried, seasoned with sea salt, black pepper, dry mustard (or prepared), ground dry thyme (oregano would be good, too)
1 bay leaf
2-4 TB cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/2+ jalapeno pepper – cut and seeds removed (1/2 large pepper = mild slow burn taste. Add more if you like it hot)
few whole red radishes – ends removed
some sea salt to water
1/4-1/2 cup water or broth (really – this little! The other liquid will come from the vegetables and meat)
Optional Additions: new potatoes (large pieces or they will be mush, omit for GAPS and SCD diets), rutabagas (SCD & GAPS legal), turnips (GAPS legal), black or green olives, artichoke quarters, peas (add 5 minutes before serving), daikon radish, kimchee (hot Korean cabbage), lemon slices/quarters?, oregano, fresh roma tomatoes
Close lid and start cooking on stove on medium. When it sounds like it is up to temp, change heat to low. Simmer on the stove or in the oven at 250-275 degrees F for 2 to 3 hours. The finishing temps are listed below when using a meat thermometer:
145 degrees F: medium rare (with red inside)
160 degrees F: medium
170 degrees F: well done
I would suggest checking the temp a bit before you think it will be done. That way you won’t overcook it.
Many Greek lamb recipes use oregano and lemon juice. I would have used oregano, but I was out. Lemon juice could replace the cider vinegar.
How Much Protein Do We Need?
People need about .8 grams of protein based on their weight in kilograms. You can estimate your needs an easy way – Think of your weight in pounds. Divide it in half, and that’s about what you need per day.
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Did you try it? What did you think? Please leave a comment. Thanks! Happy Cooking!