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Easter Lamb Recipes

Braised Shoulder of Lamb
Serves 4

This demonstrates how much star anise, when combined with onion, enhances the flavour of meat. The principle works with all kinds of meat, as long as the anise is cooked with onion to start with.


  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 4 star anise
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half
  • 2 sprigs each fresh rosemary and thyme
  • 3-5 pound shoulder of lamb, bone in
  • Salt and pepper
  • half a bottle of white wine, or a bottle of beer

Preheat the oven to 250F. Place the onions and carrots in a large Dutch oven, along with the star anise. Add some oil, and lightly brown the vegetables on top of the stove. Add the garlic and herbs, and cook for five minutes longer. Season the meat and liberally cover in oil. Remove the vegetables from the Dutch oven and set aside. Wipe the pan clean and add more oil. Return the pan to a high heat and put in the meat. Brown all over, then lift out the meat and deglaze the oven with the wine or beer. Return the vegetables to the pan, and then sit the meat on top. Cover tightly and place in the preheated oven.

Roast for four and a half to five hours, adding more wine or beer as necessary and turning the meat occasionally. You'll know it's done when the meat starts to fall off of the bones. Remove from the oven and transfer the meat to a serving dish. Reduce the remaining liquid to a sauce consistency, and strain. Serve the meat in thick slices, with the sauce on the side. Serves 4.

Lamb Neck Noodle Soup
Serves 4

To create this dish, I was inspired by a lamb noodle dish I always enjoy having at Legendary Noodle on Vancouver's Main Street. Their noodles are homemade, adding to the texture, but I think I've come up with a comforting dish that is easy to make at home. You can ask your butcher to set get the lamb neck for you, it is a very inexpensive cut of meat, but has a lot of flavour.

Ingredients for the soup stock:

Ingredients to Finish the Soup:

  • 1 small package fresh Shanghai-style noodles
  • 4 baby bok choy, washed and separated into individual leaves
  • soya sauce and black pepper to taste
  • hot sauce to taste

Place the lamb neck and the cold water in a large pot and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Then add the rest of the stock ingredients and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, for about 2 hours. Remove the lamb neck slices and pull off the meat, cutting it into small chunks, then setting aside. Strain the stock into a large bowl and refrigerate. When fat has congealed, remove and place the stock into a pot. Bring to a boil, then add the reserved lamb, noodles, bok choy and seasonings. Reduce heat to a simmer. When the bok choy has wilted a bit but still has some crunch to the stalks, the soup is ready. Taste for seasonings and serve in individual bowls.

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