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Abbacchio Recipe


Chef: Kevin Weeks
Food Mood: Meats
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6


2 Tbsp. oil (or lard)
3 lb. boneless lamb; cut into 1-inch cubes*
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. minced fresh sage leaves (or 1 tsp dried, rubbed sage)
2 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried rosemary)
4 Tbsp. flour (or Wondra), sifted
1 cup wine vinegar
3/4 cup water
4 Tbsp. anchovy paste


1. Heat oven to 350F.
2. Season lamb with salt and pepper.
3. Heat oil or lard over medium high heat in a dutch oven or oven proof casserole. Brown lamb on all sides.
4. Add garlic, sage, and rosemary and cook for 1 minute, turning everything over once or twice.
5. Dust lamb and aromatics with flour and cook a minute longer. Turn over lamb and stir once.
6. Add vinegar and cook another 15 or 20 seconds, then add 3/4 cup of water.
7. When the water begins to bubble, cover pan. Place in the center of the oven. Cook until lamb is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally and add additional water a little bit at a time to keep the water level at about 2/3 the depth of the lamb. After lamb is finished cooking, remove from oven. Then, thoroughly stir in the anchovy paste and taste and adjust seasonings. Serve.


In southern Italy the most common form of cooking fat is olive oil, while in northern Italy butter and lard are more often used. Although this Roman recipe includes the atypical lard, it\’s an excellent choice for flavor.

Use a boneless leg and cut into cubes or purchased lamb labeled “stew meat” at butcher.

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