BRAISED LAMB SHANKS WITH CARROTS

LAMB SHANKS ARE A WONDERFUL CUT.  BECAUSE OF THE BONE, THEY ARE PARTICULARLY FLAVORFUL, RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE AND ONE PER PERSON MAKES A PLEASANTLY BARBARIC PRESENTATION.  YOU CAN BRAISE THEM IN WINE (WHITE OR RED), STOCK, EVEN ORANGE JUICE, BUT BECAUSE LAMB IS SWEET, I OFTEN DO THEM IN A COMBINATION OF DARK BEER AND BEEF STOCK.  TO ADD A SLIGHTLY UNUSUAL DIMENSION TO THE FLAVOR, I THROW IN A COUPLE OF STAR ANISE AND CHILI FLAKES FOR A BREATH OF HEAT.  LIKE ALL BRAISES, THESE SHANKS ARE BEST PREPARED A DAY IN ADVANCE.  NOT ONLY IS IT EASY TO REMOVE THE FAT, BUT A NIGHT IN THE POT SEEMS TO DEEPEN THEIR FLAVOR.

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