Lamb and Apple Cider Braise

Apple cider, when simmered gently with lamb shoulder chops, leeks and a handful of prunes, creates a delicious sauce in this easy family meal.

Prep time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 1-1½ hours

Serves: 6-8


Ingredients

  • 6-8 Lamb Shoulder Chops, well-trimmed
  • 2 Leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 6-8 Cloves Garlic, crushed, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups Apple Cider
  • 12-14 Prunes
  • 2 Eating Apples, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried or 1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Marjoram (or Oregano)
  • ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper

Method

In a stovetop-proof casserole dish brown the lamb chops well in a dash of oil. Set aside.
Add a dash more oil to the pan and lightly brown the leeks and garlic. Stir in the cider and simmer until reduced by half. Return the lamb to the casserole dish, scatter over the prunes, apple slices and marjoram and cover.

Simmer on top of the stove for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Alternatively bake at 160ºC for 1-1½ hours.

Season with pepper and a pinch of sugar if you find the cider too acidic. Garnish with extra fresh-picked marjoram leaves. Delicious with baked or mashed pumpkin.

Tips

Season meat just before cooking. In this case before browning the lamb shoulder chops to give maximum flavour.
Add prunes or raisins to beef or lamb dishes for a touch of sweetness – and added fibre.

Variations

  • Use lamb neck chops.
  • Replace the cider with stock.
  • Use pears in place of apples.

With thanks to New Zealand Beef and Lamb for the recipe.