Red-Wine-Braised Lamb

Winter 2010
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food and drink

BY: Julia Aitken

Even without the mashed potato topping, this easy braise makes a warming supper on a cold day.

3 lbs (1.5 kg) boneless lamb leg, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
¼ cup (50 mL) olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
10 oz (300 g) cipollini onions, peeled (about 12)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups (500 mL) red wine
¼ cup (50 mL) tomato paste
2 tbsp (25 mL) minced fresh rosemary leaves
2 tbsp (25 mL) each of packed brown sugar and
Worcestershire sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).

2. Pat lamb dry with paper towels. In a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp (25 mL) oil. Cook lamb in batches for about 5 minutes per batch, turning often and sprinkling with salt and pepper until browned on all sides. Remove lamb to a large plate as each batch browns. Add another 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil during cooking as necessary.

3. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining oil to casserole. Cut onions in half, and any larger ones in quarters. Add onions to casserole, then cook, stirring often, for 2 to3 minutes or until onions are golden brown. Add garlic, then cook for 1 minute. Stir in wine and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of casserole. Stir in tomato paste, rosemary, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat.

4. Return lamb to casserole and cover tightly. Transfer casserole to oven. Cook for 1½ to2 hours or until lamb is very tender. (Braise can be cooled then refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)

Serves 4 to 6