Dora's Spring Lamb Casserole Recipe

Dora's Spring Lamb Casserole Recipe
Staff Writer
Close up of lamb
Allison Beck

Close up of lamb

Growing up in Puglia, Nicola’s mother Dora would make this comforting lamb dish every Easter.

Bite-sized morsels of baby lamb are braised until tender and then covered with a mixture of beaten eggs and spring peas. The dish is then baked so that the eggs solidify, covering the lamb like a blanket. — Allison Beck

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, diced
  • 1 baby lamb shoulder, boned and cut into 2-inch cubes (approximately 4 pounds meat)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2-3 cups lamb, chicken stock, or water.
  • 3 cup fresh peas, blanched, or thawed frozen peas
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup grated mild Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions

In a large skillet or casserole, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion; cook until it begins to turn translucent, about 10-15 minutes. Toss the lamb pieces with salt and pepper to season, and then add them to the onion. Cook and stir until lamb pieces are browned on all sides. Add the thyme, half of the parsley, and 2 cups of the stock or water. Cook to a simmer and reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 30 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the liquid hasn’t completely evaporated, adding more liquid if necessary. Add the peas and cook 10 minutes longer.  If desired, transfer to an ovenproof serving dish (you’ll bring the dish straight from the oven to the table).

Beat the eggs with some salt and pepper, the cheese, and the remaining parsley. Pour over the lamb and peas. Bake in a 425 degree oven until the eggs are set and begin to puff slightly, about 5 minutes.

Lamb Shopping Tip

Look for meat that is bright red. Red meat turns paler as the hemoglobin within releases oxygen – a sign that the meat has been sitting too long at the butcher's counter.

Lamb Cooking Tip

When browning meat, resist the urge to move the meat – you must allow a flavorful crust to form over high heat. Once it has formed, the meat should slide freely with the shake of a pan.

Lamb Wine Pairing

Most red wines, especially cabernet sauvignon, but also including cabernet franc, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nebbiolo, nero d'avola, primitivo, barbera, and sangiovese.