Ever felt lost for what to cook next? I often get stuck repeating easy dishes and neglect some culinary gems. I was discussing what to prepare for dinner with my other half when lamb fricassee slipped out of the memory cupboard. This cold weather is calling for heart-warming dishes and fricassee is a classic.
There are so many recipes for fricassee out there, hardly a Greek dish I thought. Having a closer look you can see most of the recipes have chicken or other white meat, some even use rabbit. And all of them include a mix between onion, celery and cream. Greek culinary genius has adapted the method and here is what we have come up with: fricasse with lamb and lettuce, garnished with egg-lemon sauce (avgolomeno in Greek).
This is my mama’s recipe and a classic in the repertoire of all Greek mamas. It’s one of the foods you will be making again and again once you try it. Originally cooked with wild greens, romaine lettuce is now a set feature. The goodness of greens and zestiness from the lemon will lift your spirits on any rainy day.
- 750 gr of lamb
- 2 medium onions
- A small bunch of spring onion finely chopped
- A sprig of dill
- 2 romaine lettuces
For the avgolemono (egg & lemon) sauce
- 2 eggs keep at room temperature before using
- 1 large lemon for their juice
- 120 ml broth from the lamb stew
- a pinch of salt
- Clean and dry your lamb whilst your olive oil is heating up in the pan. Seal the meat well and remove it from the heat. Now add in the chopped onions and spring onions and sizzle them for about 5-6 minutes. Put the lamb back in the pot with some warm water to cover it.
- Place the lid on your pot and bring it to the boil for a good 10 minutes. Then you can let it simmer on a low heat for approximately 40 minutes. When your meat is tender, almost cooked, throw in the lettuce chopped. The egg-lemon sauce goes just before serving.
If you think you don’t have time to make fricassee in one go, you can split the process into two parts. Once your meat is cooked, simply take it off the heat and let it rest. You can add the lettuce and egg-lemon sauce just before you serve, which will take you around 15 minutes.
So back to the lettuce:
It should be finely chopped, as it’s easier to manage and mix.
Cook for approximately 10 minutes. You will notice it starts to soften, lose its volume and happily settle in the broth.
Now the avgolemono:
This is a very homely version of avgolemono, similar to the avgolemono that accompanies lahanontolmades, only without cornflour for thickening.
Separate your egg yolks from the whites and whisk thoroughly. Beat the lemon juice slowly into the egg yolks. Next add the 120ml of broth from the pot to the whisked egg whites. Now it’s time to combine the two, stir the egg white and broth mix into the beaten yolk and lemon juice mix. Finally it all goes into your pot. Stir well and bring your fricassee to the boil. It should be ready to serve in 3 minutes!
Hope it keeps you nice and warm! Enjoy!by