Yellow polenta with braised lamb

Yellow polenta with braised lamb

Modern Italian Food
Earl Carter

In my view, the entire population of Australia should be forced to consume a diet of braised lamb shoulder and necks! Lamb and other ovine are the specialty food of Australia and there is life beyond lamb roast or rack of lamb.

This recipe of braised lamb is a rich stew of the lesser parts, complemented by creamy yellow polenta. It is so easy to cook and is tasty and relatively cheap. Braises and stews are not fashionable food in Australia these days – but they are great on cold days and easy to prepare.


Quantity Ingredient
1.2kg lamb shoulder, cut into 2 cm cubes
plain flour, for dusting
olive oil, for frying
2 brown onions, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
small bunch rosemary and sage, tied together
100ml red wine
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
salt and pepper
600g italian tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 quantities * polenta [rid:10064]
1/2 orange, zested
1/2 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


  1. Dust the lamb with flour. Heat the oil in a large frying pan – preferably nonstick – and fry the lamb in small batches until golden brown. Set aside.
  2. Heat a little more oil in a large casserole pan and fry the onions, carrots, celery and garlic until they begin to soften and brown. Return the lamb to the pan with the herbs and stir well. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates. Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. The potatoes are a kind of thickener in this dish – they will break down and almost disappear into the sauce by the end of the cooking time. Add the tomatoes and cook slowly for 11⁄2 hours or more on the stove top. The sauce should deepen in colour and thicken. If it is too thick, thin with a little water or stock.
  3. Soft-cooked yellow polenta is the perfect accompaniment to this rustic braised dish. It’s certainly preferable to the awful practice of serving casseroles and stews with long-grain rice. Sprinkle on a little grated orange and lemon zest and chopped parsley as you serve.
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