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Warm Up To American Lamb With Winter Braising Tips And Tricks

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SOURCE The American Lamb Board

Recipes from Chefs Adam Sappington and Holly Smith Show Braised Lamb's Versatility

DENVER, Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For comfort food cravings this season, braising is many culinary experts' cooking method of choice. Home cooks can put American lamb on the table this winter with delicious new braised lamb recipes and tips from Pacific Northwest Chefs Adam Sappington and Holly Smith, and the American lamb industry.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140205/SF59125)

Select the right cut.
Lamb cuts such as shank, shoulder and legs lend themselves nicely to the low-and-slow braising approach, explains Megan Wortman, executive director of the American Lamb Board. "These cuts offer a good value, whether feeding your family or cooking for a crowd. Within a few hours of slow-cooking, they'll be fork tender and full of flavor."  

Experiment with different braising liquids.
While simple meat stock is the braising liquid most often called for in recipes, Chef Adam Sappington of Country Cat in Portland, Ore. suggests using wines or seasonal stouts in the base. "Red wine is one of my favorite braising liquids because it infuses some acidity and depth to the base of the dish, deepening the overall flavor of the lamb," says Sappington. For a satisfying weeknight dish braised with wine, try Sappington's Braised Lamb Shanks with Butternut Squash and Parsnip Puree.

Start the day before.
To simplify sophisticated recipes, braise your lamb the day before you plan to serve it. Chef Holly Smith of Seattle's Cafe Juanita says that letting the lamb rest in its braising liquid overnight allows the flavors to fully integrate and tenderize the meat. One such recipe that can be started a day early is Smith's Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Braised Lamb Shoulder, Preserved Squash and Pomegranate – a great wintertime entertaining recipe. "By braising the lamb in advance, you'll have more time to spend with your guests," says Smith.

Don't forget about your crockpot.
"Many braised lamb recipes, including these from Adam and Holly, can be modified for crockpot preparation," says Wortman. "For an easy weeknight dinner preparation, simply sear the lamb by stovetop in the morning, and transfer the browned meat to your crockpot for all-day slow cooking."

For more American lamb recipes and cooking tips, visit AmericanLamb.com.

About the American Lamb Board
The American Lamb Board is an industry-funded research and promotions commodity board that represents all sectors of the American Lamb industry including producers, feeders, seed stock producers and processors. The Board, appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, is focused on increasing demand by promoting the freshness, flavor, nutritional benefits, and culinary versatility of American Lamb. The work of the American Lamb Board is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the board's programs are supported and implemented by the staff in Denver, Colo.

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