Fricassea de Agnello E carciofi (Lamb Fricassea with artichokes)

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.

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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.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

DIRECTIONS: 

  • 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 … ]

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