Don’t discard the lamb bones – they add extra flavor to this warming dish.
I absolutely hate but I also love this time of year, you know?
When beach weather becomes jacket weather, salads turn to stews, and my complexion turns back to Scottish gel.
The quince’s greatest fame seems to be in this silly poem by Lear, where an owl and kitty eat a romantic dinner of raw quince and unseasoned ground beef. This putrid offering was served with a runcible spoon, though neither animal had an opposable thumb. I can only assume the cat ignored the spread and ate the owl. (Just kidding, I revel in nonsense, as is surely obvious).
Anyway. Now is braising season. Get a shoulder of lamb with the bone in and don’t throw it in, throw it into the mix as well – that way you can have some nice chewy bits at the end. A good mash won’t hurt with that.
* Recipe: Spicy Lamb with Eggplant and Yogurt
* Recipe: Osso buco
* Recipe: breaded lamb loin with pine nuts, butternut squash and jus – My Food Bag
BRAISED LAMB WITH WHITE WINE AND QUINCE
PREPARATION TIME: 30 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: 4 HOURS
1 lamb shoulder, cut into large chunks (see note)
Sea salt and black pepper
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large shallots, finely chopped
A few bay leaves, a few sprigs of rosemary, thyme, that sort of thing
1 cup dry white wine
2 quinces, fluff removed, cored and cut into 2-3 cm pieces
3-4 cups of good beef, vegetable or chicken broth
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 small handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Get a large ovenproof flameproof casserole – a Lodge or Le Creuset or similar – and place it over a moderately high heat with a good drizzle of olive oil.
Season the lamb and add in batches, frying quickly until nicely browned on all sides. Do not overcrowd the pan, as it will not brown. Transfer the browned meat to a bowl and let sit for a minute.
In the same skillet, add the garlic and shallots and sauté gently for a few minutes until translucent and fragrant – don’t let it brown or burn too much.
Return the meat, herbs and chopped quince to the pan, along with any juices at the bottom of the bowl. Turn up the heat and pour in the wine. Bring to a simmer and reduce a bit before adding enough broth to cover, season generously, and place in the oven to braise for at least 2.5 to 3 hours, until the meat is falling apart.
Once out of the oven, leave to rest for a bit. Toss the chopped parsley and lemon zest with a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of oil and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Mix and serve with the lamb.