A perfectly keto, low carb lamb dish with courgettes that is full of flavour and extremely easy to make.
Braising meat is something I absolutely adore. It takes literally minutes of involvement and then you can leave the meat to simmer away for a long time while you prepare something else or just take a break.
There is absolutely nothing difficult about this dish and the result is succulent, tender meat that will melt in your mouth. No fancy equipment required, either. Any pot will do, although I wholeheartedly recommend a heavy bottom pan rather than a flimsy aluminium one. If you only have aluminium pans, you will need to keep an eye on the meat and stir it regularly to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pan and possibly burn.
Lamb is quite a fatty meat and therefore perfect for the ketogenic lifestyle. Paired with butter courgettes for more low carb goodness, this is a main course that is simply unbeatable in flavour and satisfaction.
My braised version is bursting with flavour, thanks to a mix of spices and some red wine. It is the wine that gives this cooked lamb a rich, dark red colour, as well as amazing taste.
Red wine: the secret weapon that turns dark meat into a sensational feast for the senses
Less than half a glass is all it takes to add colour and richness to an otherwise ordinary meal. Any wine will do. It doesn’t matter what type it is, as long as it’s red. I use cheap table wine in a carton because I don’t drink wine, so it would make absolutely no sense at all buying a bottle only to use a small amount and throw away the rest. In case you dislike red wine and you’re wondering if you would taste it in the recipe, let me assure you that you will not.
So what is ‘braising‘?
The term ‘braised’ may conjure up images of complicated Masterchef-style techniques but is, in actual fact, quite the opposite. Braising is simplicity itself: you sear the meat by cooking on high heat until it’s brown all over, then you add liquid and whatever flavourings you choose, you cover the pot and let it all simmer on very low heat for a looooooong time. It’s an old cooking method that is extremely common both in France (where the word braising originates) and in many other countries. Pretty much any kind of meat, even the toughest, chewiest one can become tender and moist by braising, so it’s perfect for any budget. I love braising because I spend so much time on my baking experiments that the idea of sticking everything in one pot and leaving it to do its magic rather appeals to me. You see, braising takes a long time, but as it requires no fussing over it whatsoever, I can bake all sorts of delicious desserts in the meantime. It is also my choice of cooking meat for dinner parties, as it gives me time to concentrate on starters, nibbles etc. without having to multi task and juggle several pots on the hob at once.
Easy-peasy butter courgettes
The intense flavour of the lamb needed something mild and sweetish as an accompaniment (according to my palate, anyway). Courgettes fit the bill perfectly. We all love, or have learned to love, courgettes (or zucchini if you prefer to call them by their other name) after embracing the keto lifestyle. Versatile and delicious both in savoury and sweet recipes, courgettes also happen to be very low carb. In this side dish, butter, olive oil and coconut oil, together with a sprinkle of organic broth granules, enhance their sapidity and deliver a feast to the senses. I cut my courgettes lengthways and then across, obtaining little-finger-size pieces (about 6cm x 1.5cm). You can cut them any shape or size you want, but don’t go too small or they will break up whilst cooking and turn to mash. Make sure they are more or less equal in size, too, to avoid uneven cooking. Yet another dish that is simple, quick and delicious.
So here is the result: my low carb braised lamb with butter courgettes, plated up and ready to be savoured
Hopefully I will have inspired you to try braising if it’s something you’ve never attempted before.
- 500g lamb chunks
- splash of extra virgin olive oil
- 50g butter
- 30g organic raw extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 shallot (finely chopped)
- 100ml red wine
- pinch of fine himalayan pink salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- pinch of paprika
- sprinkle of organic broth granules
- ½ teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice
- ground black pepper to taste
- 200ml water (approximately)
- put olive oil, butter and coconut oil into a medium size saucepan (preferably heavy bottomed)
- add chopped garlic and shallot and cook for 1 minute on medium heat until softened
- add the lamb, raise the heat to high and cook until brown on all sides.
- add the wine and cook until evaporated.
- add all other ingredients and enough water to just about reach the level of the meat
- stir, cover with a lid, turn heat down to a minimum and simmer for 1 hr 45 mins, stirring once ½ way through cooking (you will need to stir more often if using an aluminium-bottomed pan to avoid it sticking).
- cut the courgettes lengthways into strips and then across, to obtain little-finger-sized chunks (about 6cm x 1.5cm)
- put the courgettes into a wok or similar and add the rest of the ingredients.
- cook on medium-low heat until the courgettes are soft, any liquid has evaporated and they are starting to brown.
Don't allow the lamb to get too dry: check half way through cooking and add a little more water if necessary.
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