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  • Lamb Stew (Stracotto)

    This simple lamb stew, which requires minimal preparation time, is made richer and more delicious by the addition of pecorino cheese, a surprising ingredient in Puglian cuisine. This one-pot dish, which grew out of a Puglian shepherd tradition, will impress even those who aren’t already fans of lamb. The tomatoes add freshness and acidity, and the pecorino cheese perfumes the dish and tantalizes the taste buds. Pair with a full-bodied and robust red, such as Aglianico.

    Note: Good butcher shops or lamb farms in the United States feature young lamb in March and April. If you cannot find young lamb, make the dish with regular lamb, but cook it twice as long.

    • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 pound (454 g) young lamb, cut into ½-inch (1-cm) pieces
    • Salt, to taste
    • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
    • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
    • ½ cup (118 mL) pecorino cheese, cubed
    • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • Mashed or roasted potatoes, for serving

    1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the lamb with salt, place it in the Dutch oven, and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total.

    2. Add the onion, tomatoes, and cheese to the Dutch oven and mix, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any meat bits that are stuck. Add 3 cups (708 mL) of water, reduce the heat, and simmer slowly for 1½ hours.

    3. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot over mashed potatoes or with simple roasted potatoes.

Copyright © 2010 Viktorija Todorovska. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without express written permission from the publisher.

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