Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stufato di Agnello

This is a recipe that shows the cuisine of the interior cooking of the islands of Italy (Sardegna & Sicilia). Along the coast, you'll see that fish and seafood are king, yet on the interior there is a lot of lamb, goat & game eaten. Here is a rich stew that combines bright citrus flavors with the winter vegetable and legume bounty.

TT = to taste

1 1/2# Lamb stew meat (leg of lamb cut into cubes)
3T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Red Onions, julienne
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 celeriac, peeled and med dice
4 carrots, peeled and 1/4" slice discs
1 can of 28oz whole peeled San Marzano Tomatoes, crushed by hand or with spoon
1 cup Nero D'Avola(Sicilian Red Wine)
2 cups Lamb Stock (substitute veal stock, beef or chicken stock)
1/2 Lemon Confit (preserved lemons - Homemade or Moroccan grocery stores ), seeds removed & med dice
pinch of saffron
2 sprigs of rosemary, tie together with thyme
4 sprigs of thyme, tie together with rosemary
15 oz can chick peas, drained & rinsed
1 bunch of lacinato kale, rib removed and diced, leaves cut into 2" squares
TT salt
TT pepper

heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over med-high
season the lamb with salt & pepper
once oil is just starting to smoke, add the lamb
sear the meat all over, then remove
turn heat to med low
add the onions and cover
after 5 minutes, stir the onions and break up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan
continue to cook the onion for about 20-30 minutes until well caramelized
add the garlic and saute for 5 minutes
add the wine, the tomatoes, lemon confit, saffron, herbs, lamb & stock
bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
cover and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally (make sure it is simmering and not boiling vigorously)
add the kale, celeriac & carrots & simmer for 45 minutes stirring occasionally
add the chick peas & simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally
taste for seasoning and adjust with salt & pepper as according
check for tenderness with the lamb and vegetables
remove the herb bundle and discard
if they are not quite tender enough to your liking you can simmer for an additional 30 minutes or so. (It should be tender though)
Transfer to individual crocks and serve with a slice of grilled or toasted crusty bread(if you like you can grate some pecorino cheese on the top)
serve immediately

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