Buglione – Tuscan Lamb Stew
I love lamb – actually I love all meat! I’m drawn to food with a strong, robust flavour and I find that lamb gives me exactly what I want. It’s probably for this reason, that many other people dislike lamb. It can be a divisive meat, with some citing its fatty nature among reasons to avoid it. I have no such issue; fat equals flavour in my book and lamb has it in abundance.
An Italian Buglione is essentially a meat stew. The dish can be served with pork, veal or beef but for me, the lamb really matches the rosemary and hint of garlic perfectly. I adapted the traditional Tuscan Buglione recipe to suit the menu at my Pop-Up Italian Restaurant a couple of weeks ago. The traditional recipe contains quite a bit more tomato but after a tomato based pasta dish beforehand, I figured it best not to overdo it. Although I specify two hours cooking time, this stew can quite happily sit on the stove for the day. I cooked it for six hours on the day to ensure the lamb would fall apart. Be careful with the liquid content; if it dries out too much, add a little water or stock.
2 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Onion (finely sliced)
1 clove of Garlic (finely sliced)
850g diced Lamb
100 ml Red Wine (preferably Chianti)
2 sprigs of Rosemary
1 tsp Tomato Purée
500 ml Chicken Stock (or Lamb Stock)
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
pinch of Dried Chilli
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Season and cook over a medium heat until it starts to brown, before adding the garlic and lamb. Continue to cook over a medium heat until the lamb is well browned.
Add the red wine and cook off before adding the rosemary and tomato purée. Mix well and pour in the chicken stock. Season well and bring to the boil before adding the oregano and chilli.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 2 hours or until the lamb is tender.
Check for seasoning and serve with roast potatoes or polenta.