Monday, 17 February 2014

Agnello Con Piselli (Lamb WIth Peas)

It is very traditional to eat the new season’s lamb with fresh peas on Sundays in Italy when the whole family will gather together. The secret of this dish is in leaving the lamb to cook over a very low heat, as traditionally it would have been cooked in a pot over the embers of a fire; in this way the lamb and the rest of the ingredients will cook through well, and all the juices will ooze out to create a lovely sauce.

The Recipe

500g boned spring lamb shoulder, cut into large chunks
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, roughly sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
4 anchovy fillets
handful thyme sprigs
1 red chilli, sliced
175ml white wine
15ml white wine vinegar
125g fresh or frozen peas
200g potatoes, cut into quarters
100g cherry tomatoes, halved

Season the lamb chunks with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large lidded pan and fry the onions, carrot and celery for 4-5 minutes, or until softened.
Add the garlic, anchovies, thyme and chilli, and continue to cook, stirring, until the anchovies have almost dissolved into the oil. Add the lamb chunks and fry for a further 4-5 minutes, or until browned all over.
Stir in the wine and continue to cook until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half, then add the vinegar. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Add the peas, potatoes and tomatoes, cover again and continue to cook for about an hour, until the sauce has reduced by half.
Serve hot with plenty of bread to mop up the sauce.

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