Saturday, 26 September 2009


This is a traditional stew of lamb in avgolemono (egg-lemon) sauce. It's worth it to mention that there are several variations to this type of stew; the greens can be lettuces, or spinach, or leeks, or endive ... and sometimes pork takes the place of lamb. More often than not, I cook it without meat, and that's a fast and delicious way to prepare a meal! But the recipe here,  which makes enough for a decent sized gathering, is a great dish to serve to company. Those who like Greek food will adore it! A lamb fricassee is usually served in avgolemono sauce, however, if you don't feel like making the sauce, go ahead and just add the lemon juice; the result will be equally delicious. 


about 3 pounds boneless leg of lamb

1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
4 hearts of romaine lettuce or two heads of romaine lettuce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 stalks of celery, chopped
2 large eggs
the juice of one large lemon
1/4 cup ice water (make it really cold!)
vegetable broth or chicken broth or water
salt and pepper to taste
8 tablespoons olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Trim the lamb of any fat. Cut it into 1 1/2 inch pieces and place the pieces in a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Let sit in the refrigerator to marinate for about 2 hours. Bring out and allow the meat to come to room temperature. 
  • Into a Dutch oven heat 4 teaspoons of the olive oil and saute the lamb until it's browned on all sides. Remove the meat from the pot and reserve.
  • Add the remaining olive oil to the pot, heat and saute the onion and celery. Cook stirring until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute. 
  • Return the meat to the pot. Add enough broth to just cover and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a slow boil, cover and place in the oven. Cook until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, wash the lettuce thoroughly, then chop it into 2-inch pieces.
  • When the lamb is cooked, remove it from the oven.
  • Add the lettuce, scallions, dill and parsley, and cook on the stove top for another 20 minutes. 
  • Make sure there is always enough liquid in the pot by adding some more broth if necessary. The stew should have some liquid but it should not be soupy. 
  • When the lettuce is cooked, turn off the heat. The stew can be served as is, without the avgolemono sauce. Just plate it and sprinkle a little lemon juice on top before serving.

To make the avgolemono sauce:

  • Juice the lemon and reserve.
  • Separate the eggs: place the yolks into a small container and place the egg whites in a larger container. Have at the ready a hand mixer equipped with the whisk attachment. 
  • Beat the eggs whites until they are nice and frothy but don't turn them into meringue.   
  • Add the ice water to the yolks and beat well. Can use a handheld, non-electric whisk for this step.  
  • Add the yolks to the egg whites, grab your electric whisk, and beat until mixed. 
  • Add the lemon juice and beat well. 
  • By now you should have a nice, frothy, creamy mixture. Next up comes the tempering of the eggs:
  • Remove a ladleful of broth from the stew and very slowly whisk it into the egg-lemon mixture. 
  • Once done, the avgolemono sauce is ready! The hand mixer is no longer needed and the sauce can be added to the stew.  
  • Slowly, stir the sauce into the stew. Make sure it's well incorporated and serve the stew right away. Once the avgolemono sauce has been added, don't bring the stew back to the boil.