A Make-Ahead, Gingery Lamb Braise

February  2, 2018

Cold weather calls for cooking and sharing comforting meals with family and friends, to warm us from the inside-out. We've partnered with Bosch to showcase a few ways to keep your family cooking all season long.

You’d be hard pressed to find a more satisfying cooking technique than braising, especially for cold weather months. Tough cuts of meat are browned, bathed, and then given some alone time in the oven where they turn into tender, falling-off-the-bone brilliance.

The technique is also a helpful one to have up your sleeve when entertaining, or just meal planning for a busy week. It lends itself to a hands-off approach, which is good news if your favorite part of cooking with a partner is the time you spend together. It can also be used to make your main dish well in advance, as braised dishes actually benefit from being cooked two days ahead of time; the flavors intensify the longer they hang out.

The finished dish is definitely a crowd-pleaser. Photo by Mark Weinberg

For these reasons and more, the dish that my husband and I have turned to again and again recently is a Gingery Braised Lamb Shanks with Meyer Lemon and Cilantro Relish. I came up with the dish because we missed the flavors of all the ethnic foods we had access to when we lived in New York City; it’s wonderfully flavorful and aromatic, using both fresh and ground ginger as well as coriander. It’s also festive and impressive enough to make for a dinner party, but easy enough to keep in rotation for a cosy family meal at home.

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I serve it over orzo or pilaf to absorb some of the braising liquid, and a Meyer lemon relish on top to bring the whole thing together. Because there’s so much going on flavor-wise already, we keep the rest of the meal simple with a salad of pleasingly bitter chicories, such as radicchio or endive dressed with lemon, olive oil and salt. For dessert, it’s just clementines and some good-quality chocolate.

A convection oven cuts down on cooking time and helps cook more evenly. Photo by Mark Weinberg

Whether entertaining or just having fun in the kitchen on a weeknight, I can’t stress enough how easily this meal comes together with a little planning. Go out to the store today and buy all your ingredients. Cook the dish in a leisurely way, enjoying the rich, gingery smells that will fill your kitchen, maybe snacking on some spiced nuts and radishes with sweet butter and flaky salt while you work. The very best part? It will taste even better tomorrow, and all you have to do is slowly reheat it in the oven on low.

We've partnered with Bosch, makers of modern appliances like the Benchmark Induction Slide-In Range, to showcase ways to spend time in the kitchen with your friends and family. Induction cooking helps this recipe come together safely and quickly thanks to the temperature precision it provides when searing off the meat and aromatics; meanwhile, the convection oven helps shorten overall cook time and cooks the dish more evenly.

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Colu Henry

Written by: Colu Henry