Recipe: Sicilian Lamb Spezzatino with Saffron and Mint
Four to six servings
4 pounds lamb shoulder chops cut 2 inches thick
Salt and pepper
¼ cup olive oil
2 cups diced red onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of saffron
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1. Season chops generously with salt and pepper. Put olive oil in a wide deep skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly brown lamb on both sides, then remove and set aside. Lower heat to medium, add onion to pan and season with salt. Cook, stirring, until softened and lightly colored, about five minutes.
2. Stir garlic, saffron and tomato paste into onions and cook one minute. Add wine and simmer for two minutes, then return lamb to skillet. Add 4 cups water, just to cover meat, and bring to a boil. Put on lid, turn heat to low and simmer gently for about 45 minutes, until quite tender.
3. Remove lid and raise heat to a rapid simmer. Simmer until juices have reduced by nearly half and sauce has thickened somewhat (may be prepared ahead to this point). Taste and adjust seasoning. Just before serving, reheat and stir in chopped mint.
Adapted by David Tanis, The New York Times, from “Coming Home to Sicily” by Fabrizia Lanza