Braised Lamb Neck
I was recently reading a recipe from Dan Barber for Braised Lamb Neck that called for an hour and a half braise at 350F. This sticks out to me because I am used to braising at a lower temp (250-275) for longer times (at least 4+ hours). Does anyone have an explanation for this? Is it the cut of meat? Does the gelatin in the meat have a chance to "melt" during this short braise?
Any explanation regarding this technique would be great.
The temperature may be higher than needed, even for this time, since the boiling point of the liquid determines the cooking temperature (at least for the immersed meat). But as for time, the pieces are small and have a good amount of bone, so heat will penetrate all the way through fairly quickly.
The least expensive lamb (and goat) in ethnic markets (Indian, Middle eastern) is cut into cubes from a frozen shoulder, and would cook in the same way as neck. So braising times for one of their recipes could be used as a check on this recipe.
I actually ate a braised lamb neck dish at Stone Barns. It was so incredibly tender, but also way too salty... so much so that neither my partner nor I could eat more than a few bites. It was really disappointing because I adore lamb, and the texture was wonderful. I haven't seen his recipe, and perhaps this was just an off dish, but maybe something to watch out for if it calls for a lot of salt!