Sardinian Lamb Stew

Recipe provided by | Executive Chef/Owner Heidi Krahling Insalata Restaurant San Anselmo, California


American Lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes, 4 pounds fat removed

Spice Mixture

Orange zest zest from 3 oranges (approx. 3 tablespoons)
Fennel seed, ground 2 tablespoons
Ground coriander 2 tablespoons
Dry thyme 2 tablespoons
Salt 2 tablespoons
Ground black pepper 2 tablespoons
Saffron (ground with fennel) pinch
Chicken stock 8 cups
Cinnamon stick 1
Unsalted butter 3 ounces
Olive oil 2 ounces
Yellow onion, medium dice 2
Fennel bulb, medium dice 1
Tomato paste 3/4 cup
Garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon
White wine 3/4 cup
Roasted peppers (optional)
Couscous (optional)
Green olive salsa verde (optional)


Combine orange zest, fennel, coriander, thyme, salt, pepper and saffron. Rub one-half of the spice mixture into lamb cubes. Let sit for 30 minutes. Reserve remaining spice mixture for later use.
Place lamb in a heavy sauce pot; add chicken stock to cover. Bring to a boil. Add cinnamon stick; reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook approximately 1 hour until lamb is tender, skimming periodically to remove any fat or impurities.
In a large sauce pot, melt butter. Add olive oil, onion and fennel; sauté over low heat until translucent. Add the remaining spice mixture, tomato paste and garlic. Stir to combine. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes until aromatic. Add white wine; cook for 1 minute more. Set aside.
Strain lamb, reserving the liquid. Discard cinnamon stick. Add lamb to onion and fennel mixture; mix well. Add reserved liquid; bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes. Adjust with salt and pepper.
Serve stew in a bowl. If desired, serve with roasted peppers and couscous and garnish with green olive salsa verde.