Braised Lamb Knuckle with Quince Sauce and Autumn Vegetables

Winter is the season of braised meat. The secret of braising is pretty simple: use the cheap cuts with a lot of connective tissue and do not trim anything off of them. So ask your butcher please not to trim off anything at all. You can still cut it off on your plate, but if you braise meat long enough, the connective tissue will just disappear. Meat cooks a lot faster than the connective tissues, but if you braise your meat at low temperature for a long long time, the connective tissues are going to melt into the meat and turn the meat moist and soft. That is also the secret of all braised dishes and why they need so much time. I like to prepare them overnight in the oven. This way I don’t have to worry about any burnt parts and if I wake up during the night, I turn the meat around and go back to sleep. And I wake up in the morning with a wonderful scent of braised meat all over my flat.

Braised Lamb Ham Hock with Quince Sauce and Autumn Vegetables

My most favorite parts for braising are the cheeks and the knuckles (in Germany they are called “Haxen”) of beef, lamb, veal or pork, because they contain a lot of connective tissue. Knuckles are a very rustic dish when served on their bone. For a more refined plating I removed the bones from the braised knuckles and cut the meat into portions. Removing the bones should always be done while the meat is still hot and soft. Portioning is much easier when the meat is cold and the gelatin and fat hardened the meat. Glazing the meat during reheating in the sauce is also a step you don’t want to miss, because spooning the sauce from time to time over the meat creates a layer of very rich flavors. For the sauce I switched yet again the red wine to quince, which added the required acidity and also enriched the sauce with its unique flavor.

Braised Lamb Ham Hock with Quince Sauce and Autumn Vegetables

As garnish I used a wide range of colorful winter vegetables. While the yellow carrot, orange pumpkin, red beet and green Brussels sprouts taste just like what they are, I flavored the nashi pear with rooibos tea caramel and the parsley root puree with fresh cinnamon. All accompaniments paired great and also worked well with the braised lamb and the quince flavored sauce.

5 thoughts on “Braised Lamb Knuckle with Quince Sauce and Autumn Vegetables

  1. chriesi

    Just gorgeous!!! Love the addition of cinnamon to the parsley root, after all I am a total cinnamon addict, besides it also fits the lamb very well. Over all it is a fantastic composition and I have to put it on my “must try” list. 😉

  2. Robert Post author

    Thank you, Noémi! The cinnamon paired really well both with the lamb and the other vegetables. I adapted this cinnamon flavored milk from my recent cinnamon ice cream. Using cinnamon sticks instead of ground cinnamon adds a lot more interesting flavors – and it also allows to keep the clear white color instead of becoming brown or greyish.
    The sauce just ran the way it wanted to, I didn’t play around with squeeze bottles 😉

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