Saturday, September 26, 2009

LAMB FRICASSEE AVGOLEMONO: a Greek Lamb Stew

Ingredients:

about 3 pounds boneless leg of lamb
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
4 heads romaine lettuce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 stalks of celery, chopped
2 eggs
the juice of one lemon
1/4 cup ice water
vegetable or chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
8 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:
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, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.  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, garlic and celery.  Cook stirring until the onion is translucent.
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 1½ 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 half hour. 
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:
In a bowl beat the eggs with a whisk until frothy.  Add the ice water and continue beating for about a minute.  Add the lemon juice and beat well. Remove a ladleful of broth from the stew and slowly whisk it into the egg-lemon mixture.  This will now be the avgolemono sauce.  Slowly stir in the sauce into the stew.  Make sure it's well incorporated and serve the stew right away.  You can warm it up a bit if necessary, but be careful that it does not come back up to the boil.