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Braised Shoulder of Lamb with Star Anise

  • Preparation Time: 30 mins
  • Serves: 4
  • Cooking Time: 300 mins
  • Ready Time: 330 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy

This demonstrates how much star anise, when combined with onion, enhances the flavour of meat. The principle works with all kinds of meat, as long as the anise is cooked with onion to start with.


  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 4 star anise
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half
  • 2 sprigs each fresh rosemary and thyme
  • 3-5 pound shoulder of lamb, bone in
  • Salt and pepper
  • half a bottle of white wine, or a bottle of beer

Preheat the oven to 250F. Place the onions and carrots in a large Dutch oven, along with the star anise. Add some oil, and lightly brown the vegetables on top of the stove. Add the garlic and herbs, and cook for five minutes longer. Season the meat and liberally cover in oil. Remove the vegetables from the Dutch oven and set aside. Wipe the pan clean and add more oil. Return the pan to a high heat and put in the meat. Brown all over, then lift out the meat and deglaze the oven with the wine or beer. Return the vegetables to the pan, and then sit the meat on top. Cover tightly and place in the preheated oven.

Roast for four and a half to five hours, adding more wine or beer as necessary and turning the meat occasionally. You'll know it's done when the meat starts to fall off of the bones. Remove from the oven and transfer the meat to a serving dish. Reduce the remaining liquid to a sauce consistency, and strain. Serve the meat in thick slices, with the sauce on the side.

Serves 4.

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