Easter Feast - Agnello Cacio e Uova – Lamb Cheese and Egg Stew
The primary ingredients for an Easter celebration feast are Lamb, symbolism of the sacrifice of God’s son, eggs, representing the rebirth, and vegetables, celebrating spring. This plate from Campania, the region where Napoli is located, incorporates these elements. The recipe also uses a less expensive cut of lamb and is widely accepted as the main course of choice.
I have included spring peas, but any fresh vegetable or bean could be substituted or added, including artichokes, fava beans, asparagus, or string beans. The vegetables will add greater substance to the sauce and will balance the flavor of the lamb.
Lamb is very flavorful and may not be appreciated by all. The balance of the cheese and vegetables in this recipe will make lamb palatable to even the most difficult of critics.
2 ½ lbs leg of Lamb (butt-end) deboned and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 ½ cups of thinly sliced spring onions or scallions
2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ teaspoon of medium grain sea salt
½ cup dry white wine
1 lbs of peas, artichokes (cut in quarters), asparagus (cut in 2 inch pieces), or small fava beans
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup grated pecorino cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
Lemon wedges (2 for each guest)
Preheat a 12 inch iron skillet or sauté pan on medium high heat. Combine the lamb, onions and oil. Sear each side of the lamb, turning constantly. This should take 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pour in the wine and deglaze the juices. Turn the heat to medium low and continue cooking uncovered keeping the liquid at a slow, but constant simmer. Turn the meat regularly. As the liquid reduces add water, one tablespoon at a time. Do not allow the pan to dry completely. Continue for about 45 minutes. The meat should be tender, slightly pink in the center and the liquid should be almost completely evaporated.
Add the vegetables and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes. Continue adding water 1 tablespoon at a time.
While the vegetables are cooking with the meat, beat the eggs and cheese together.
When the vegetables are ready remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the egg-cheese mixture. The eggs will set with the sauce and combine with the hot meat and vegetables. This should only take about 1 minute.
Season with freshly ground pepper and serve immediately with lemon slices.
Wine: I would suggest a Chianti Classico Riserva by Castello di Monastero or a Rosso di Montalcino
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