Welcome to my world - a blend of passion, taste, and old-world traditions.

Benvenuti nel mio mondo - un mischio di passione, gusto e vecchie tradizioni.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

SPRING LAMB STEW - Spezzato d'Agnello Cacio e Ove

Lamb is traditionally associated with spring in Italy and a must-have at Easter-time.  Spring lamb is extremely tender and succulent with rosy-pink flesh .

Spring Lamb Stew
(Spezzato d'Agnello Cacio e Ove)

Keeping with tradition, at Easter, we purchased a whole spring lamb (agnello). Total weight 25 lbs. We butchered it ourselves.

   Some Italians prefer a baby lamb (agnello di latte or abbacchio) which is fed only with milk and is not older than 4 weeks.  We prefer a milk-fed lamb (agnello) not older than 2 to 6 months, which fed with grass resulting in a strong and aromatic taste.

We divided the lamb in four parts -

Leg of Lamb
All photo Copyright - ©2012 - La Casa e Il Giardino

Legs (coscia) - great for oven cooking. It can be boned and rolled.

Shoulder and Chops (Rack or carre) - great for fancy preparation like a crown, obtained by joining two racks joined in a crown shape with the bones protruding.

Rack of lamb

Chops (costolette) obtained from the rack cut to slices.  Individual chops can be rubbed with a mixture of lard, rosemary, salt and pepper and grilled.

Shoulder (paletta- Suitable for oven cooking or stewed.
Neck (collo) - cut into chunks great for stews or (spezzatino).

Lamb Stew with cheese and eggs (Spezzato d'agnello cacio e ove)

      3 lbs. lamb (I used the shoulder and neck) , cut into 2 inch pieces
    3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
    1 sprig fresh rosemary
    ½ cup dry white wine
    ¼ cup olive oil
    1 medium onion cut in half
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    5 large ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped or 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
    2 hot green peppers (optional)
    4 sprigs parsley, chopped
    1/2 cup dry red wine
      3 eggs
      1 cup Pecorino cheese

Combine the lamb, garlic cloves, rosemary, and white wine in a medium bowl. Let marinate for 2 hours. Drain the meat and discard the marinade.

Heat olive oil in a large pan with lid, over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and brown the meat on all sides, about 30 minutes.  Add the red wine.  Let the wine evaporate. 

Add salt and pepper to taste, tomatoes and parsley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer about 30 minutes stirring occasionally until meat is very tender. 

In a bowl, beat the eggs with pecorino.  Pour egg mixture over meat.  DO NOT STIR.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until egg mixture is firm.  Close the flame and mix until the egg mixture combine well with the meat.  Serve warm. 
For a side dish, I make braised fresh peas with scallions.
Braised fresh peas and scallions