authentic italian episode #2: lamb and fennel stew

by brendan on January 27, 2007

so i thought i would be doing one of these authentic italian posts a week, but reality has set in, so, after a delay of too many weeks, here is the only the second post. . . i would love to say there are more to some soon, but i don’t want to lie anymore. . . well maybe a little more. . . so many more posts to come!!!

i was looking to make something quick and easy for some friends who were coming to watch football, as well as something seasonal, and this recipe just jumped out at me. it couldn’t have been easier: brown the lamb, add some chopped onion, some DOP tomatoes, let it cook for about 10 minutes, add some chopped fennel, cover, and let cook for about 90 minutes – add some water if necessary along the way. simple recipe, basic ingredients, and it turned out great. i cooked some nice curly pasta as well and served it in big bowls.

the key of course is getting the best ingredients, and the guys at golden gate meats didn’t disappoint. i went in on friday to and asked for some lamb stew meat and came back saturday to a big package of beautiful lamb. i did make a big rookie mistake thought – i wasn’t thinking and put all the lamb in the pan to brown at one time – it let out tons of moisture, lowered the overall heat, and suddenly i had gray meat. i stopped – pulled all the lamb out, got a second pan, and browned them in that pan in batches, then adding it back into the main pan where all the juices had already accumulated. slow and steady wins the race. it does go to show that it’s tough to ruin a simple recipe, and that sometimes it easy to forget the basics.

some more photos below (i’m still trying to improve my food photography, so bear with me – you can see the whole set here):

overcrowding the pan

halfway there

dinner is served

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