There are up to two weeks of celebrations for the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival. This year is the year of the Dog. In China and the Chinese diaspora there are visits to family, fireworks, and feasts and so I thought appropriate over the next ten days to post some more of my favourite Chinese dishes. I am also building up a database of some of the ingredients and base recipes which you can find on here. If you want to know more about one of my favourite styles of Chinese cuisine you can read my post on Cantonese food.
Celebrate Chinese New Year with the following Recipes;-
In China lamb or mutton is eaten mostly in the north and north west and is especially favoured by the Muslim and Mongol populations but it is available everywhere. The most popular street food in China are Xinjiang lamb skewers with fiery and fragrant with chilli and Szechuan peppercorns, which you can find in every major city throughout China. Chinese recipes mostly call for mutton or substitute goat rather than lamb mainly because traditionally lamb was scarce, and the cooking times would be longer. This is rather a generous recipe best eaten with friends, serve with some perfectly fluffy boiled rice. Now may I wish you all prosperity for this Year of the Dog and Enjoy – Gong xi fa cai
Slow Braised Lamb with Ginger and Spring Onions
1.5 kg to 2 kg boned Shoulder of Lamb
10 Banana Shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large bunches of Spring Onions, washed, trimmed and cut in 3 centimetre pieces
500 gr Sliced Button Mushrooms
1.5 ltr good quality Lamb or Veal Stock
100 gr Rock Sugar ( you can substitute Demerara )
1 large 6 centimetre piece of Ginger, peeled and very finely sliced
6 cloves Garlic, peeled and finely crushed
6 tablespoons Dark Soy sauce
4 tablespoons Rice Wine or Dry Sherry
4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 tablespoons Sesame Paste
1 tablespoon Tomato Puree
2 large pieces of Cassia Bark
Cut the lamb shoulder into large five centimetre dice. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and blanch the lamb by plunging it into the boiling water for five minutes. Strain out the meat and discard the water. Heat a wok or a large frying pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the pieces of lamb and stir-fry them until they are brown.
Add the shallots, spring onions, mushrooms and ginger to the wok and cook for five more minutes before placing into a large casserole or heavy-bottomed pan and stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring up to the boil and carefully skim off any fat from the surface, then turn the heat down as low as possible. Cover with a lid and gently simmer for around one and a half hours or until the lamb is cooked and tender, skimming occasionally to remove any more fat. When cooked remove the star anise, cloves and cassia bark and serve in bowls with steamed rice.
What to Drink? Matching wine with Chinese food used to be considered impossible but more modern sommeliers are making innovative pairings try your lamb with a fruity, Chilean Pinot Noir or off-dry Rosé and why not try a refreshing Continental wheat beer with citrus and coriander seeds as your beer choice.
Allergens in this recipe are;
There may be gluten in your Soy Sauce