Braising in the summer? Why, when we can grill? And that's a fair point. But when you taste this beer-braised lamb, which is available at Ricardo Zarate's Mo-Chica, downtown, you'll thank us for getting you the recipe. It sounds long, but it's not labor intensive. After braising—which happens while you're making some rice and beans or taking a nap or eating lunch—you let the lamb sit, and chill out for awhile. Then you shred it. Then you mix it with its own juices, which you spike with red wine vinegar. Then you put it on top of a freshly fired tortilla, or inside a grilled cheese sandwich, or perhaps next to those aforementioned rice and beans. And then you eat.
Beer-Cilantro Braised Lamb Shank
2 pieces fresh lamb shank (10-16 oz each)
1 lb fresh cilantro
5.5 oz garlic, peeled
5 oz beer
1.5 cups chicken broth
Red wine vinegar, about 1/2 cup
Black pepper, ground
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Place lamb shanks on a rack atop a roasting pan. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Place meat preheated oven and roast for 2.5 hours until browned.
- Add the cilantro, garlic, beer, and chicken broth to a blender and liquefy.
- Place the roasted shanks in a brazier or in a deep pan with the beer-cilantro mixture and cover.
- Lower oven temperature to 350 F.
- Braise lamb shanks for 4 hours at 350 F.
- After 4 hours pull lamb shanks out of the oven and let rest.
- Once the lamb shanks are cool, pull them away from the bone and shred the meat.
- Skim some of the fat off of the remaining braising liquid.
- Pour braising liquid, along with any remaining meat bits left in the pot, into the blender and liquify.
- Season with salt, black pepper, and red wine vinegar, to taste.
- Mix shredded meat into braising liquid and reheat over low heat on stove top until hot.
- Use in sandwiches, on pasta, with rice and beans, or on crostini with pickled onions.