Lacquered Brisket of Beef, Pickled Fennel

lacquered brisket of beef, pickled fennel

Lacquered Brisket of Beef, Anise Ginger Garlic Tamari Glaze
Served with Pickled Fennel

Meet a match made in heaven: Lacquered Beef Brisket & Pickled Fennel. Bright tart crisp pickled fennel flavored with star anise and cinnamon marries super-tender slow-cooked brisket brushed with a barely sweet Asian-flavored sauce. Reducing the brisket cooking liquid of beef broth, star anise, ginger, garlic, sugar, and tamari results in an intensely flavored glossy glaze.

The meat is lacquered with the glaze, and it is painted onto the plate. The result is a striking combination of flavor, texture, color, temperature. Everything can be prepared a day or two ahead. A five lb. brisket serves nine, with the cost per serving under four dollars, making this a terrific dish for entertaining.

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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.

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Anise-Ginger Lamb Shank

Braised and Grilled Lamb Shanks
with Tamari,  Star Anise, Ginger, Garlic

The braising liquid is made with tamari, water, star anise, garlic cloves, sliced fresh ginger and sugar.

The shanks are simmered for over 2 hours in my Le Creuset covered French Oven.

The shanks are then seasoned with salt and pepper, grilled for about 15 minutes, until nicely browned. Meanwhile to prepare the sauce: use a fat separator to remove most of the fat, return the sauce to the pot and heat on high. Dilute 1 T. cornstarch with 1 T. cold water and whisk into the sauce to thicken just slightly. Add a splash of rice vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
Many recipes for shanks use red wine as the braising liquid, like this one with Zinfandel. Last weekend, we were quite pleased with the exotic combination of tastes of tamari, anise, ginger and garlic. Whatever liquid/sauce you choose, I highly recommend the method of braising and grilling the lamb shanks, as this technique gives the meat an added dimension of flavor.
This recipe was adapted from Mark Bittman. The original recipe can be found here. After picking up four beautiful shanks from the butcher, I was searching the internet for a recipe for “braised and grilled” lamb shanks and came across his. It’s a winner!