Lamb Braised in Milk with Fennel Recipe
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
1 fennel bulb, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed (use mortar and pestle, or chop finely with a chef's knife)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 sprig rosemary
1 In a large (5 to 6 quart) thick-bottomed Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil on medium high. Pat dry the lamb pieces. Season well with salt and pepper. Working in batches, place lamb pieces in the pan (do not crowd). Do not stir. Turn only once a side has browned. Brown all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
2 Reduce heat in pan to medium. Add remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add the diced fennel and cook a few minutes until softened, scraping up any browned bits from the pan. Add the garlic and crushed fennel seeds.
3 Add the meat back into the pot. Add the milk and cream. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, add the sprig of rosemary, cover. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until meat is tender.
4 Once the lamb is tender, remove the pieces from the pot and set aside. Discard the rosemary. Bring the milk cream sauce to a boil over high heat and reduce to about 2 cups. Working in batches, purée in a blender (or with an immersion blender) until smooth. (When puréeing hot liquids in a blender it's best to work with relatively small amounts, filling just maybe a quarter of the blender. Otherwise the pressure can blow the top off the blender and make a hot mess.) Return the sauce and the lamb to the pot and if needed heat until warm through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Before serving, stir in the fresh chopped parsley.
Serve the braised lamb over warm farro.
Yield: Serves 5 to 6.
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