This dish from the Abruzzi region of Italy uses a slow cooking method.The meat absorbs the flavorings and becomes very tender.
- Preparation Time : 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 90 Minutes
- Serves: 4
- 1 leg of lamb,weighing
- 3 lb 8 oz
- 3-4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 4 oz lean bacon slices
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves,crushed
- 2 onions,sliced
- 2 carrots,sliced
- 2 celery stalks,sliced
- 1 1/4 cups dry white wine
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 1/4 cups lamb or chicken stock
- 3 medium tomatoes,peeled,quartered and seeded
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
- salt and pepper
- fresh rosemary sprigs,to garnish
- Wipe the lamb all over with paper towels,trim off any excess fat, and season to taste with salt and pepper, rubbing it in well. Lay in the sprigs of rosemary over the lamb,cover evenly with the bacon slices, and tie securely in place with kitchen string.
- Heat oil in a skillet and pan-fry the lamb over medium heat for 10 minutes, turning several times. Remove from the skillet.
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Transfer the oil from the skillet to a large ovenproof casserole and cook the garlic and onions for 3-4 minutes until the onions are starting to soften. Add the carrots and celery and cook for an additional few minutes.
- Lay the lamb on top of the vegetables and press down to partly submerge. Pour the wine over the lamb, add the tomato paste, and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes, and herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return to a boil for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Cover casserole tightly and cook in the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours until very tender.
- Remove the lamb from the casserole, and if you like, remove the bacon and herbs together with the string. Keep the lamb warm. Strain the juices, skimming off any excess fat, and serve in a pitcher. The vegetables may be put around the joint or in a dish. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.