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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Viva Italia! Lamb braised with vinegar and green beans.

I've never been a massive fan of Italian food. That's not to say I didn't like it, I really do, but I have been leaning more towards an Asian bent in the last few years. When I go out for dinner, I never think Italian. Sure, I'll whip up the odd risotto or spaghetti, but not in a really authentic way.

In the last few weeks I've had Italy on the brain. Lucy is about to head to Venice for a culinary/ artistic jaunt, and I am a bit jealous. Put this together with the May 2009 issue of Delicious magazine, the ultimate Italian collectors issue, and I've gone a bit crazy for Italian flavor and produce.

So far I have made four meals using the recipes from this one magazine, that is what I call value for money. This evening I am making stufatini di agnello con l'aceto - lamb braised with vinegar and green beans, and I will share it with you, in hope that everyone will go out and buy a copy of this consistently brilliant publication.


1/2 cup olive oil, 1.2 kg diced lamb shoulder, 1/2 onion, chopped, 2/3 cup good quality red wine vinegar, 450g green beans trimmed cut into 4cm lengths, roasted or mashed potatoes and a green salad, to serve


In a flame proof cassreole dish that is large enough to hold all the lamb, heat oil over a medium-high heat. Brown the lamb, in batches for 6-8 minutes until sealed all over. Remove all lamb from dish. Add onion and stir for 4 minutes or until transclusent. Return all lamb to pan, add the vinegar and some salt and pepper. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring for 1 minute, then reduce heat to low. Add beans and a little more salt and pepper - to taste - then cover and gently simmer 1 1/2 hours until lamb is very tender.

Serve with potatoes and a green salad. Serves 4-6.

As I am not cooking for six people, I have cut all my ingredients down to a third, and it worked a treat. I thought some wilted spinach with a dash of lemon juice and toasted pine nuts would really compliment this dish. I didn't have any potatoes, so I substitutes plain cous cous instead, which I cooked in a light vegetable stock. This recipe is delightful, and so easy. One of those put it on and forget about it types. I'm road testing this one for a future dinner party, and the verdict: fool proof.

Next on my list, the May 2009 edition of Gourmet Traveler magazine, which is spruking itself as 'the best of Italy'. Stay tuned for more kitchen adventures.


Lisa said...

That looks luscious. My butcher has been carrying a goodly amount of lamb recently and I know there's shoulder so I'll have to give this a go, especially with couscous. I bet it would be nice over some soft polenta, too. I'll keep an eye out for that issue; the stores around here have been a little slow in getting their overseas foodies in and they fly off the shelves so I'll have to be sharp.

Tassiegal said...

Funny, Gourmet Traveller is also having an Italian Issue for May. HMMMM - conspiracy anyone?

Sapuche said...

I don’t consider myself a big fan of Italian food, either…until I find myself in an authentic Italian restaurant, wondering why it’s been so long since I’ve gone out for Italian. It’s also hard to find good Italian that won’t break my bank, at least where I live. Oh, and I think you’re perfectly justified at being a bit jealous and crazy for a little Italy in your life right now. I feel the same way myself! Thanks for the head’s up on Delicious magazine, which I hadn't heard of before, and also for the braised lamb recipe. It sounds great!

Tangled Noodle said...

Lamb is such a favorite in our house! We normally grill it with some light seasoning but this recipe looks and sounds like it would yield a wonderfully tender and flavorful dish. Personally, your couscous sounds even better than mashed potatoes!

Bingo said...

I can personally warrant for the delightfulness of the cake on the front of that edition of Delicious - just make sure there is enough sauce!