Lamb Marseilles

By Chef Jeff Nathan, Abigaels Restaurant

Yield: 6

6 whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon dry thyme
1 piece star anise
½ bunch fresh parsley stems
3 pounds lamb stew meat, cut to 1” cubes
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
flour, for dredging
4 tablespoons olive oil + 3 tablespoons additional
1 cup onions, diced medium
¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 cup eggplant, diced medium
1 cup carrots, diced medium
8 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
½ cup red wine
½ cup orange juice
2 cups beef stock
1 cup crushed tomatoes
½ cup pitted black olives
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Prepare a double layer of cheesecloth 8” square, or use a sachet bag. Fill the cloth with the black peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme, star anise and parsley stems. Tie with butcher twine or the strings of the sachet bag. Set aside.

Season the lamb meat with salt and pepper. Dredge each piece in flour. Brown the cubes of lamb on all sides in a large skillet of hot olive oil. Sear in several batches and do not overcrowd the pan. Transfer the seared meat to an ovenproof casserole.

To the same skillet, add the remaining olive oil, onions, eggplant and carrots. Stir and cook 1 – 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until garlic is lightly golden. Whisk in the flour. Stir and cook 1 – 2 minutes more. Add the herbs de Provence and prepared Sachet. Add the red wine, orange juice, beef stock and crushed tomatoes. Stir and be sure to scrape up the particles stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and pour over the seared lamb meat. Cover.

Place the casserole in a pre-heated 350˚ F. oven. Cook for approximately 1½ – 2 hours or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven. Remove and discard the sachet. Add in the olives, fresh rosemary and parsley. Stir and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

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