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https://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/10574/lamb-fricassee-wrapped-in-spinach

LifestyleFOOD.com.au

Lamb Fricassee Wrapped in Spinach

Ingredients

  • Canellini beans:

  • 150g dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight

  • 1 small onion, unpeeled but quartered

  • 1 carrot, halved

  • 1 celery stick, halved

  • 4 whole cloves garlic

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 250g fresh tomatoes

  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped sage

  • Lamb Fricasse:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 500g shoulder of lamb, cut into small even pieces

  • 1 onion, finely sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 stick celery, finely sliced

  • 1 carrot, finely diced

  • ½ small fennel, finely sliced

  • 100ml white wine

  • 450ml chicken stock

  • Peel and juice from 1 lemon

  • 50g unsalted butter and extra for greasing

  • 50g plain flour

  • 500 g Spinach, stalks removed

  • Courgettes:

  • 4 large courgettes, trimmed

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 aubergine, very finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped thyme leaves

  • ½ red pepper, skinned and very finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan

  • 2 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs

  • For the Garnish:

  • Confit of lemon rind, julliened

  • Basil leaves

  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Canellini beans::

  • 1.

    Drain the cannellini beans and place them in a large pan with the onion, carrot, celery, garlic cloves and bay leaves. Cover with 1 litre of water and slowly bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer for about 11/2 hours until the beans are tender.

  • Lamb Fricasse::

  • 1.

    Meanwhile, prepare the lamb fricassee. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan and brown the lamb pieces on all sides for a few minutes. (You may have to work in batches to avoid the meat merely steaming). Tip into a casserole dish and set aside.

  • 2.

    Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the same pan and gently sauté the onion, one of the chopped garlic cloves, celery, carrot and fennel for 3-4 minutes until softened.

  • 3.

    Add the vegetables to the meat in the casserole with plenty of seasoning, mixing together well.

  • 4.

    Preheat the oven to 170C (325F / Gas Mark 3).

  • 5.

    Place the casserole over a medium to high heat and add the wine. Simmer until it is reduced by half.

  • 6.

    Add the lemon peel, pour the stock in and return to a simmer. Cover with a tight fitting lid and transfer to the oven for 45 minutes - 1 hour, until tender.

  • 7.

    Meanwhile, make a beurre-manié to thicken the casserole sauce. Simply blend the butter and flour together to give a smooth paste. Refrigerate until required.

  • 8.

    Also, to prepare the spinach, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Blanch the chard for 1-2 minutes and remove, refreshing in ice cold water so it retains its greenness. Drain and use a clean cloth to dry the leaves carefully.

  • 9.

    Grease 4 ramekin dishes with a little butter and line each one with the chard, leaving the leaves to overhang the edges.

  • Courgettes::

  • 1.

    In the meantime, prepare the courgettes for baking. Cut each of three courgettes into four pieces about 3-4cm in length. Using a melon-baller, carefully scoop the inside flesh out from one end of each piece of courgette, but without going through the opposite end. Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the prepared courgette pieces for 1 minute. Remove and refresh in ice-cold water until cold and then drain them upside down on kitchen paper. Arrange the courgettes standing vertically, open side up in a gratin dish.

  • 2.

    For the courgette filling, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan and sauté the aubergine for 3-4 minutes until soft. Remove and drain well on kitchen paper. Chop the remaining courgette very finely and add it to the pan with the remaining tablespoon of oil and the garlic and thyme. Saute for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Drain well on kitchen paper also. Next, mix the aubergine and courgette mixture together in a medium bowl with the red pepper and parmesan and season well. Then spoon this mixture into each courgette cavity and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top. Cover and reserve until ready to bake.

  • Canellini beans::

  • 1.

    Returning to finish the cannellini beans, once cooked, drain well and discard everything except the beans. Bring a pan of water to the boil.

  • 2.

    Using a sharp knife, remove the ‘eye’ from the tomato and then make a cross in the skin on the opposite side.

  • 3.

    Pop the tomato into the boiling water to blanch for 10-20 seconds, remove and plunge into ice-cold water.

  • 4.

    Peel the skin away, quarter, discard the seeds and roughly chop the flesh.

  • 5.

    Heat the oil in a sauté pan and gently fry the garlic for 1 minute.

  • 6.

    Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the juice has evaporated.

  • 7.

    Stir in the sage leaves and drained beans and season to taste.

  • 8.

    Cook over a gentle heat for a further 15 - 20 minutes until thick and pulpy. Keep warm until ready to serve.

  • Lamb Fricasse::

  • 1.

    Meanwhile, carefully strain the lamb fricasse through a sieve or colander set over a medium pan. Reserve the meat and vegetables in a large bowl, covering to keep warm.

  • 2.

    Bring the liquid to a simmer and add the lemon juice and the remaining chopped garlic clove.

  • 3.

    Over a medium heat stir a little beurre-manié at a time through the casserole liquid, allowing it to cook out before adding more, until the desired thickness is achieved (coating cosnsistency). Season to taste.

  • To serve:

  • 1.

    Bring a kettle full of water to the boil.

  • 2.

    Stir a little of the sauce through the meat and vegetables to coat, keeping the rest warm for serving.

  • 3.

    Spoon this mixture into the chard lined ramekins to three quarters fill them and then gather the over hanging chard in to seal the top. Cover each ramekin with tin foil and place in a deep sided roasting tray.

  • 4.

    Transfer the tray to the oven and pour in enough boiling water from the kettle to come half way up the sides of the ramekins.

  • 5.

    Bake in this bain-marie for 15 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven, cover the whole tray with foil and leave aside until ready to serve.

  • 6.

    Turn the oven temperature up to 180C (350F / Gas Mark 4). Bake the stuffed courgettes for 20 minutes until warmed through and the crumbs are golden.

  • 7.

    Remove the foil from the fricassee parcels and carefully turn each one out onto serving plates. Drizzle some of the reserved sauce around and garnish with the confit lemon rind. Arrange three of the stuffed courgette pieces to the side and spoon some of the cannelini beans on the plate also. Garnish with basil and serve.

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