Italian Lamb Stew
6 Tbs Olive Oil
4 Lbs Lamb shoulder or shank, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Onion, large, minced
1/4 cup Italian Parsley, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Bay leaves
1/4 tsp Cloves, ground
1/4 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp Allspice, ground
1 cup Wine, red, dry
2 1/2 cups Stock (chicken, beef or vegetable or half chicken and beef as done in the show)
28 oz Tomatoes, Italian, Plum, Whole (2 14 oz cans)
1/2 cup Olives, Nicoise, pitted
4 tsp Rosemary, fresh
3 Bell Peppers, red, cut into 1/4 inch strips (On the show one orange, yellow and red bell pepper was used)
Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Polenta: (A common staple of northern Italy)
Polenta recipe, Soft Polenta :
Ingredients: Serves 6-8
8 cups Water
1 cup Milk or Cream
2 tsp Salt, kosher
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
2 cups Cornmeal (Substitute 1/4 cup of the cornmeal with semolina flour for a little creamier texture)
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
For the stew:
Heat the 2 Tbs Olive Oil in a Dutch oven over high heat until hot. Cut the 4 lbs of lamb shoulder or stank into 1 inch cubes. Brown the lamb in small batches adding 2 Tbs more oil, to be sure that it is all equally browned. Remove and place aside.
Reduce heat to medium. Add last 2 Tbs oil to the Dutch oven and sauté 1 minced onion until onion is soft and golden. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic, 2 bay leaves, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of allspice. Stir in the lamb and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Add 1-cup dry red wine, and simmer about 15 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups stock and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Add 2-14 oz cans of whole Italian Plum Tomatoes with their juices, 1/2 cup pitted Nicoise olives and 4 tsp fresh rosemary. Cover and cook over low heat until lamb is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add 3 red bell peppers, cut into 1/4 inch strips. Cook another 10 minutes and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over soft polenta.
For the Polenta: (a northern Italy staple)
In a medium saucepan, combine 8 cups water, 1 cup cream with 2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Whisking constantly, add 2 cups cornmeal, very gradually, pouring it in a light, steady stream. Add the 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Change the whisk for a wooden spoon; reduce the heat so that the mixture is at a slow simmer, constantly stirring until the polenta thickens, about 10 minutes.
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