Lamb Fricassee (Arnaki Frikase)

What I made for Easter Sunday dinner - Lamb Fricassee, a stew of lamb and greens, flavored with dill and onion, thickened with the egg-lemon concoction known as avgolemono. Delicious!

Ingredients

6-8 lamb chops, approximately 1.5 - 2 pounds. Ideally they should be at least 1 inch thick. We like the ones with the little T-bone in them as opposed to the fattier shoulder chops. Trim them, salt and pepper both sides. In the picture below, the chops to the left have been trimmed of their excess fat. This dish is rich enough without having a bunch of extra fat in it.

Trimmed and untrimmed lamb chops for comparison.

Prep the veggies:

1 yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch dill, sliced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 bunch spinach, sliced
1 head romaine lettuce, sliced
1 head red leaf lettuce,sliced
1 head endive, sliced (when I don’t find endive at the store, I get something else in the chicory family, either a head of escarole or a couple of belgian endives)

Make sure you wash all the greens very well! You can do this either before or after you slice them.

Greens for fricassee.

Heat 4 TB olive oil in a dutch oven until almost smoking, then put in the chops. It should take about 2-4 minutes to sear the first side. Don’t move them around, this is not a stir-fry! You’ll know they’re ready to turn when they quit sticking to the pan. Turn them and sear the other side for 2-3 minutes.

(I’m using my Tramontina Sterling II Dutch Oven 7-qt. here.)

Browning the lamb chops for fricassee.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the chopped yellow onion. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens up a bit and starts turning golden.

Add onions to the meat.

Add the green onion and dill, give it a couple of stirs, then add 1 cup of water.

Adding dill and green onions to the browned lamb chops.

Cover the pot and turn the heat down to medium low or even low. Try to maintain a low simmer for 1 hour. (If you are using shoulder chops, you might want to simmer for 1 1/2 hours to give the fat and connective tissues more time to break down.) When the lamb is soft and tender, it’s time to start adding the greens. They won’t all fit, so just fill the pot up, try to stir them in a bit, and put the lid on to let them wilt down.

Adding greens to the cooked lamb.

After about 15 minutes, open up the pot. Hopefully there’ll be enough room for you to add more greens.

The greens have wilted down.

When all the greens have been added and given time to cook down a bit, it’s time to make the avgolemono. Turn off the heat under the pot. Beat 2 eggs into 1/4 cup of lemon juice.

Beat eggs with lemon juice.

Whisk a bit of hot liquid from the pot into the egg-lemon mixture. Don’t worry if bits of greens come along with the liquid, they won’t hurt anything. Keep whisking in small amounts of the hot liquid until you’ve whisked in about a cup of hot liquid.

Adding hot liquid to the avgolemono.

Stir the avgolemono into the pot.

Pouring avgolemono into the pot.

Add salt and pepper to taste. If you want to add some more lemon juice at this point, you can. And…serve! Great with bread and feta!

A bowl of lamb fricassee.

16 Comments »

  1. Comment by Peter

    Happy Easter and Arni Fricasse is one my fave dishes, nicely done!

  2. Comment by lulu

    Hi Peter, Happy Easter to you too! I’m just about to head over to Kalofagas to see how your whole lamb turned out.

  3. Comment by Ivy

    Christos Anesti Lulu, your lamb fricasse looks absolutely delicious.

  4. Comment by lulu

    Alithos Anesti! Hi Ivy, thanks!

  5. Comment by Laurie Constantino

    Looks absolutely delicious Lulu!

  6. Comment by lulu

    Thanks, Loro, um, Lora, um Lahri, um, Loren!

  7. Comment by Sam Sotiropoulos

    Christos Anesti Lulu! Looks like you did a fantastic job on the fricasse! I am sure it was enjoyed by all. :-)

  8. Comment by lulu

    Alithos Anesti Sam! I just did it like Mama taught me! :-)

  9. Comment by Funky Grampa

    You made a convert! My son-in-law a disciple of “Fast food is great food” now extolls Greek Lamb as “Food of the Gods”!

  10. Comment by lulu

    Wow, Funky Grandpa, I am thrilled to hear that!

  11. Comment by Ivy

    Lulu dear, you have been tagged but feel free not to participate if you don’t want to.

  12. Comment by lulu

    Hi Ivy, I’ve done the tag!

  13. Comment by Cassandra

    Mmmm, this sounds wonderful! I’ve missed fricasee… will certainly try it soon.
    Congratulations for your blog, by the way.
    Cassandra

  14. Comment by lulu

    Hi Cassandra, thanks for visiting. I just went over and read your blog. That’s quite a daunting list of goals you’ve got there! Very interesting to read about them!

  15. Comment by ann

    I’m just making this now. what should I serve it with?

    rice, potatoes, salad? ideas please?

  16. Comment by Anonymous

    Ine mia souper sindagi pou mou aresi poli na tin jebome.

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