Smoky Braised & Grilled Lamb, Anise Ginger Sauce

Cross-cut Lamb Shank braised until tender
in tamari, water, ginger, star anise, garlic, and sugar.

Finished on the grill and served with
a velvety aromatic sauce made from the braising liquid.

We are still in “test kitchen” mode, preparing a menu for our upcoming Sunken City Supper Club dinner affair. We serve ingredients that reflect the season at our events, so this one in Spring will include lamb. And, folks, we have a winner here! Back in September of ’08 Father Adam and I cooked Mark Bittman’s “Braised and Grilled Lamb Shanks.” That was a dish we haven’t forgotten, please take a look here to see exactly why that is.

We’re making that idea work for a large party by having our butcher cross-cut the shanks as we did for the Roman-style Orange Peel and Sage Osso Buco at our Sunken City Supper Club winter event.

Arrange the shanks in an oven-proof dish. Add braising liquid. Cover with foil and cook at 325° for about 3 hours until very tender.

Braising Liquid:

  • 1/4 c. low-sodium tamari (soy sauce)
  • 1 c. water
  • several thin slices of ginger (we use a vegetable peeler)
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 4 smashed cloves of garlic
  • 1 T. sugar

Remove meat from the baking dish and set aside. When meat has cooled slight, trim off excess fat.

Pour the liquid through a fine mesh sieve, discarding the solids.

Use a gravy separator to remove the fat from the liquid. Pour liquid into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Whisk while adding small amounts of buerre manié until the sauce reaches its desired consistency and the flour is cooked adequately. Taste for seasoning. We did not need to add any salt as the tamari provided the right balance of saltiness. This sauce is very aromatic with heady scents of anise, ginger and garlic.

Meanwhile, grill the lamb until nicely browned.

Serve the smoky tender lamb in a pool of the shiny intoxicating sauce. This will be a big hit!

It is a challenge to photograph brown meat with a brown sauce, no?

The most photogenic food, in my opinion it’s the egg.

What do you think?

My eggy compilation here.

22 thoughts on “Smoky Braised & Grilled Lamb, Anise Ginger Sauce”

  1. Grilling the meat at the ed is just perfect……..add an undertone of smokiness to the end result. Looks so tasty!!!

  2. This is an enticing dish, and I’m thrilled to hear a winner. I love the flavor that star anise imparts onto meat – as you stated “intoxicating!” I like that there are very few ingredients and yet the result provides a big bang. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe.

  3. I can so wrap myself around an aromatic Asian lamb dish. I am stuck in Italian mode. Heady flavors – I can smell them now in my ktichen. You make brown food look stunning. With eggs, where’s the challenge? They are already sunny!

  4. We had our AWS tasting last night and we did smoked leg of lamb, I love lamb, and yours looks so good and just the way I like it SAUCY! Yum

  5. Lamb is my weakness, mom made it all the time in stews, and braised, your spices with anise sound fabulous, would love a plate right now…just good home cookin!

  6. Good grace, love how silky it looks. My oh my, you even used lots of star anise for this recipe. How fragrant and delightful it must be.

  7. My lack of good photos is why I don’t have braised lamb shanks on my blog. I’ve made them several times. But you made this look amazing. I want to lick that sauce right off that plate!

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