Lamb braised in milk with garlic & fennel

AuthorBen WatsonCategory, , , DifficultyIntermediate

This recipe is rather rich and luxurious, hailing as it does from New York's Italian super chef, Mario Batali, and adjusted to use shoulder steaks.
The Florentine fennel is a BFS addition. For some reason wild fennel seed and Florentine fennel bulbs are rarely used together but I can’t think why. It seemed to work.

Yields1 Serving
Prep Time10 minsCook Time2 hrsTotal Time2 hrs 10 mins
 3 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste
 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
 1 tsp (heaped) fennel seeds
 2 tbsp olive oil
 4 lamb shoulder steaks
 2 large fennel bulbs—each cut into six wedges
 600 ml milk
 150 ml double cream or crème fraîche
 2 rosemary sprigs
1

Mix the garlic with the flat leaf parsley and fennel seeds to form a coarse paste.

2

In a large, heavy casserole, heat half the olive oil and brown the fennel wedges all over. Remove the fennel and add the rest of the oil.

3

Add the garlic paste and cook over moderate heat for about 1 minute. Increase the heat and add the lamb steaks. Cook, turning, until lightly browned all over.

4

Transfer the lamb to a bowl, scraping the herb mix back into the pan. Add 150ml of the milk to the casserole and cook over a high heat for 2 minutes, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Add the remaining 450ml of milk, the cream and rosemary.

5

Season the lamb with salt and pepper and return to the pan with the fennel. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender; about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

6

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb and rosemary to a bowl; again scraping any gunk back into the pan. Discard the rosemary. Boil the milk mixture over high heat until reduced by nearly half.

7

Purée the hot milk mixture in a blender. Return the sauce to the casserole, add the lamb and simmer over low heat until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Ingredients

 3 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste
 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
 1 tsp (heaped) fennel seeds
 2 tbsp olive oil
 4 lamb shoulder steaks
 2 large fennel bulbs—each cut into six wedges
 600 ml milk
 150 ml double cream or crème fraîche
 2 rosemary sprigs

Directions

1

Mix the garlic with the flat leaf parsley and fennel seeds to form a coarse paste.

2

In a large, heavy casserole, heat half the olive oil and brown the fennel wedges all over. Remove the fennel and add the rest of the oil.

3

Add the garlic paste and cook over moderate heat for about 1 minute. Increase the heat and add the lamb steaks. Cook, turning, until lightly browned all over.

4

Transfer the lamb to a bowl, scraping the herb mix back into the pan. Add 150ml of the milk to the casserole and cook over a high heat for 2 minutes, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Add the remaining 450ml of milk, the cream and rosemary.

5

Season the lamb with salt and pepper and return to the pan with the fennel. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender; about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

6

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb and rosemary to a bowl; again scraping any gunk back into the pan. Discard the rosemary. Boil the milk mixture over high heat until reduced by nearly half.

7

Purée the hot milk mixture in a blender. Return the sauce to the casserole, add the lamb and simmer over low heat until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Lamb braised in milk with garlic & fennel
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