Sunday, June 8, 2008

Braised Lamb with Anchovy Sauce and White Beans with Tomato and Garlic

My next challenge recipes come from Recipes: The Cooking of Italy, a spiral-bound Time Life Foods of the World book, published in 1968. This one came from my mom when she was getting rid of no-longer-needed stuff in preparation for a move.

I had an uncharacteristically easy time picking not just one, but 2 recipes from this book. The first to jump out at me was White Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic (Fagioli all'Uccelletto). And then I saw the Braised Lamb with Anchovy Sauce (Abbacchio alla Cacciatora), and knew that the two would go well together.

My original plans were to have a green veggie on the side, maybe sauteed spinach or broccoli rabe, but I flaked, so we were greenless. But nobody seemed to mind. The beans, with a little bit of tomato, so simply seasoned with sage and garlic, were really good - even Youngest went for a second helping.

And the lamb? Oh, the lamb. Seared on a skillet until brown (Mr. Maillard, I love you), dusted with garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and flour, baked at high heat for 10 minutes, then topped off with red wine vinegar and chicken broth. Baked for an hour or so, with a couple chopped anchovies thrown in during the last 5 minutes. Meaty, salty, sticky, umami goodness.

Hubby, being the good Mexican that he is, grabbed some flatbread (lavash) and made mini lamb tacos. (They were really good topped with a dollop of hummus.)

Verdict? This book stays on the shelf.


michelle @ TNS said...

that lamb sounds killer. yum!

Vicki said...

Hi Michelle -
It kicked ass. And the leftover lamb combined with the leftover beans? Scrumptious.

Darlene said...

Lamb + anchovies? This sounds good! Sign me up! Hubby says I have an unhealthy love affair with the anchovy. LOL

Vicki said...

Hi Darlene -
I don't know why, but the 2 are perfect for each other. I have another recipe for shanks with anchovies that's better than this one.

Anonymous said...

I cant believe I fond this blog--I've been looking for that spiral-bound cookbook for years (I lost it) JUST to make this lamb with anchovies recipe!! Can you print it out for us? It's the greatest!

Vicki said...

Hey Anon - Here you go:

Preheat oven to 500. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 c olive oil, add 2 lbs lamb shoulder in 1.5" chunks, 4-5 chunks at a time, browning on all sides over moderately high heat. Transfer to a 3 quart casserole. Pour off almost all the fat. Season lamb with 1 t chopped garlic, 1 t crumbled dried rosemary, 1 t salt and 1/2 t pepper. Sprinkle with 1 T flour, toss to coat. Place casserole in the oven and brown uncovered 8-10 minutes, turning 2-3 times. When the gummy flour is gone and the chunks are lightly crusted, remove casserole from oven and reduce heat to 350.
Pour 1/3 c red wine vinegar into the skillet and boil briskly over high heat for a minute or 2, scraping up browned bits. Add 1 c chicken stock, bring to a boil, then pour over lamb in casserole. Cover and place in oven, braise for ~1 hour, or until tender. Add stock 1 T at a time if it gets too dry while braising.
Ladle 1-2 T sauce from casserole into a small bowl and mix in 2 drained, washed, dried & chopped anchovy fillets. Stir into the casserole and cook 2-3 minutes. Serve.

Anonymous said...

i also was frantic trying to find this recipe and did NOT read down to you compling post of the exact recipe before beginning .... it's in the oven now with two cups of wine (not vinegar) and one of broth etc. It used to be one of my favorite dishes to make for carnivors and it's shocking i forgot the proceedure; it's really so simple! I'm not sure what to serve with it to sop up the jus... but will augment with brusel sprouts. Thanks for putting this on line... it's amazing EVERYTHING is on the net. Happy New Year. Dec. 26, 2012 rickah