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Red Wine Lamb Soup, 红糟煮羊肉汤
Red wine lees make everything taste better, including soup broths
As I mentioned couple weeks ago, red wine lees are a signature Fuzhou flavor. If you happen upon some, or have the patience to make it yourself, try this soup! Fuzhou meat broths already have a deep, richness to them. The red wine lees amplifies that richness to a new level.
4 lb lamb or goat chunks
red wine lees (hong zhao or 红槽)
First boil a full pot of water with chunks of ginger. Save half of the boiled water to use later for soaking the meat. We will use this to “clean” the meat (not for the broth).
Defrost the lamb if frozen. Put the lamb in the boiling water to remove oils/residual frozen taste. Only cook for ~2 minutes. This is only for cleaning the meat and not for fully cooking the meat.
Remove the lamb from the pot and soak it in the clean hot water that was boiled previously. Add 2 drips of vinegar during this step to make it fragrant.
Let it soak for another 2 minutes and drain the water.
Heat up the wok with hot oil. Cut and fry slices of ginger.
Then add 2 heaping tablespoons of red wine lees. We make it ourselves when making red rice wine. You may also be able to find it in select asian grocery stores.
Fry the red wine lees to soften and make fragrant.
Now mix in the drained lamb. Stir-fry well to evenly spread the flavor all around.
Add a generous amount of cooking wine. A couple sloshes, maybe 1/3 of the height of the lamb in the wok. Then let it simmer and absorb.
Optionally cover the wok to really let the wine flavors seep into the meat.
Now fill it with more water (~3 quarts), the water should cover the meat completely.
Boil the soup for a couple minutes to fully cook the meat. Stir it a few times. Feel free to bite into a piece to make sure it's cooked through. It might still be tough, but we'll slow cook it later to soften it up.
Using an oil guard and a spoon, remove the top layer of fat/oil that goops at the surface.
Even after removing the oil the first time, more will come up as you boil. Continue to boil and remove oils as long as it emerges.
Now add ~1.5 tbsp soy sauce. ("Not too much, maybe two splashes") Add 1 tsp sugar to sweeten.
Transfer the soup/stew to a slow cooker. Cook for 2-3 hours for full flavor.
After you’re done slow cooking, salt to taste and you’re done!
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