12 hours braised lamb shoulder, toscanelli beans, sage & anchovy fritter Image Credit: Supplied

The cooking term “braising” comes from the French word, “braiser” and refers to a cooking method that uses both moist and dry heats. Firstly, the food is seared at a high temperature, and then the heat is turned down. A lid is used to cover the pot and the food is left to simmer in a small amount of stock.

Braising also has another added advantage: all that cooking makes your house smell amazing! And then, when you finally get to eat it, it’s so soft you can pull it apart with a fork, the kind of food that is comforting and delicious.

What better time to prepare a meal that takes 12 hours to be ready? We're all home anyways.

Here it is:

Preparation method

For the lamb stock

1. In a large roasting tray, roast the bones in the oven at 180°C until golden brown all around. Decant the excess fat from the tray.

2. Add the vegetables (peeled and roughly cut) and the garlic heads (cut in half) and roast for 15 minutes more until the vegetables start to brown.

3. Transfer to a large pot, and cover with chicken stock and water. Add the aromatics and then place on medium heat to simmer for about 5 hours, keep skimming regularly while simmering.

4. Strain the stock through a colander into another pot, place on slow heat and reduce the stock until it start thickening. You should obtain about 1.5L of stock, then strain trough a fine sieve and reserve.

For the braised lamb shoulder

1. Using a sharp knife, trim excess fat and silver skin off the surface of the meat. Transfer to a tray and season with sea salt all around, place in the refrigerator for 3 hours to allow the salt to season throughout.

2. Preheat the oven at just under 100°C. Bring the lamb stock to a simmer in an oven proof casserole (cast iron is ideal) that can fit the whole shoulder, and then add the shoulder to the stock.

3. Cover and cook in the oven for 12 hours or until very tender. The meat should easily fall off the bone without totally breaking apart.

4. When done, remove carefully from the cooking stock and transfer to a board covered with 2 layers of cling film. Allow to cool down for a few minutes.

5. Using clean gloves proceed to removing the bones trying not to disturb the meat too much (be careful not to leave small bones and cartilages behind).

6. Clean the meat of excess fat or veins. Then roll the meat tightly into the cling film and place in the refrigerator and allow to cool completely - you may keep the lamb chilled for 3 days before use, just strain the stock trough a fine sieve and reserve.

For the beans

1. Soak the beans in clean water overnight in the refrigerator.

2. In a sauteuse pan on low heat, cook the diced vegetables and aromatic herbs with a tablespoon of the olive oil until they soften, then add the presoaked beans and tomatoes and cover with water (do not season with salt and pepper)

3. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour or until tender (stir and check regularly after 30 min of cooking, do not overcook as this will turn into mash), add the rest of the olive oil, season and reserve.

For the sage and anchovy fritter

1. Mix the egg with the corn flour, and whisk in ice cold water until you obtain a thin batter and keep chilled until use.

2. On a clean working surface, lay 8 of the sage leaves, arrange the anchovy fillet on top of each of the leaves, dust the remaining 8 leaves with a bit of corn flour and superpose them, this should be done fresh before serving.


For the lamb stock

3 kg lamb bones

200g carrots

200g onion

200g leeks

200g celery

2 garlic heads

2 pieces of fresh bay leaves

2 sprigs of thyme

3 sprigs of rosemary

5g black peppercorn

2 litre chicken stock

For the braised lamb shoulder

Use the lamb stock you just made

1.5kg -2kgs lamb shoulder 

10g sea salt

For the toscanelli beans

200g toscanelli beans

100g carrots, diced

100g onion, diced

50g celery, diced

50g fennel, diced

100g vine tomato, roughly cut

1 bay leaf- fresh

1 sprig thyme

100 ml extra virgin olive oil

to taste sea salt and black pepper

For the sage and anchovy fritters

16 large sage leaves

8 pieces of salted anchovy fillets

20g corn flour

1 egg yolk