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Lamb and Shiitake Stew with Tomato-Chianti Sauce

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound well-trimmed lamb shoulder meat or shoulder chops -- cut into 3/4" cubes
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste
6 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms -- stemmed, and caps cut into 1/2" pieces
1 large onion -- coarsely chopped
2 strips orange part of orange peel/ 3" by 1/2"
2 large garlic cloves -- minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 can diced tomatoes in juice - (14 1/2 oz)
1 cup Chianti or Sangiovese wine
10 Kalamata olives -- pitted, halved (or other brine-cured black olives)
1 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta) -- freshly cooked

Heat oil in heavy large pot over high heat. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Add lamb to pot; sauté until light brown, about 5 minutes. Add next 5 ingredients; sauté until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices and wine; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until lamb is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Add olives to stew; simmer uncovered until sauce reduces and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Season lamb stew with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm over medium heat, adding water by tablespoonfuls to thin sauce if desired.)

Divide orzo among 4 plates. Top with lamb stew and serve.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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