We went to a great little Greek restaurant a while back where the menu item “lamb & artichoke fracais” was featured and took our fancy. The meal was mesmerising, with a wonderful tender pieces of lamb interspersed with artichoke hearts and a tangy creamy sauce that was a pleasure to mop up with some sour dough bread.
Now, I’m not going to claim I reverse engineered the recipe from that establishment, but thinking the flavours over and adding a little mix from my own Italian background to the mix has brought out a recipe that is a pretty tasty replica.
My initial attempts included using wild and black artichokes, the flavours were too strong for the dish, so standard artichokes are recommended. I also tried Jerusalem artichokes but found they were too bland in the mix and the texture out of place.
My initiaI attempts included using wild and black artichokes, the flavours were too strong for the dish, so standard artichokes are recomended. I also tried Jerusalem artichokes but found they were too bland in the mix and the texture out of place.
- 4 artichokes, crowned and cut into quarters
- 5 kipfler, or small roasting potatoes, cut in quarters
- 1 small bulb of fennel, cut into chunks
- 1 large brown onion, peeled and cut into wedges
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
- Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
- Lemon wedges to serve
- 500g of rough diced lamb leg or shoulder
- 2 tbsp of finely minced flatleaf parsley
- 300ml dry white wine
- The juice of 2 lemons
- 1 egg yolk
- Crown and clean the artichokes and conserve the hearts and the meaty part at the base of the edible leaves as well as peeling and keeping the stems.
- Cut the artichoke into quarters and soak in a bowl of cool water with a squeeze of lemon juice and mixin the bowl containing the water and lemon juice then set aside
- Trim the fat off the lamb and cut it into roughl cubes of about 2-3cm each and set the meat aside on a plate
- Heat some olive oil in a casserole till very warm, then sauté the garlic and parsley
- Add in the meat, browning each piece and then pour in the white wine and allow to reach a boil and then cook down for ~5 minutes at high heat before reducing to a medium heat
- Drain the artichokes and place the pieces in with the lamb along with onion, fennel and potato pieces.
- Cover the casserole dish and place in the oven for approx. 50 to 70 mins at 180*C
- Keep a check and if necessary, add in a little water during cooking if it is drying out too quickly
- A few min before taking the casserole out, beat the egg yolk in a small bowl along with the lemon juice.
- Take out the casserole and place back on the stove
- Pour in the lemon juice and egg mix and mix with the juices to thicken the sauce
- Recheck seasoning and serve with some warm sourdogh bread.
[More at I’m no master chef … ]