When Rita turned up at my door with the pieced lamb that I had ordered this autumn from the local Sheep Association, I suddenly had 10 kilos or 22 pounds of high quality grass-fed lamb to prepare this holiday season’s dishes with. I remembered that I had once tasted a lamb stew that was one of those meals that you remember for all of your life. It was so good, that I contacted my neighbor down the road to find out how he had produced that memorable dish. He mentioned that he had got the recipe off of a woman whom he meets when he is walking the dog. They exchange food notes while standing around watching their dogs frolicking in the park. He no longer had the recipe but he would get a hold of it.
The next day, my neighbor was at my doorstep with the recipe in one hand and a lead holding back his highly active dog in the other. “I got it from her,” he said victoriously. So, with Rita’s lamb in my kitchen, I got to work. This recipe takes less effort than it does cooking time, determination to find the right cut of lamb (lammlägg in Swedish or leg of mutton in English meaning the lower leg parts of the lamb), and a big, sturdy casserole dish with top suitable for the oven.
Best Braised Lamb
(original recipe by Petter at meny.se)
4 pcs leg of mutton
white flour for coating
2 red onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tbsps tomato puree
0.5 dl or 1/4 cup balsamic vinager
5 dl or 2 cups red wine
1 sprig of rosemary
2 sprigs of thyme
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 150 C or 302F. Coat the lamb with flour. Warm a click of butter and a few tablespoons of olive oil in a deep oven-proof casserole dish with top and saute onions and crushed garlic over medium heat. Do not brown. Set aside the onion mixture. Increase the heat, add olive oil, if needed and saute the lamb so that it is browned on all sides. Add the onion mixture back to the pot and add in vinager, wine, tomato paste and herbs. Cover and allow to cook for 2.5 hours until the lamb falls off the bone. Serve with a green salad, boiled potatoes or some bread for lapping up the delicious sauce with.
Oh, just a note about the Christmas ham, if you are having it. Remember, PLEASE to order it from an ecological farm that takes good care of its pigs. We’ve just had the most horrible experience here in Sweden learning about how our pigs are treated before they become Christmas ham. I’m ordering from Årstiderna. Try to find an equivalent where you live.