About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

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Lamb Stew with Vinegar and Green Beans

When my vegetable garden was in full production a few months ago, I looked ahead at the recipes for which I was responsible and prepared some well ahead of time if I could use just-picked produce a few steps from my kitchen door. Somehow I missed this recipe. I suppose I paid more attention to the main ingredient - lamb - and not much to the green bean component; or perhaps it was one of those recipes that I assumed I would get around to - but never did. Either way, I ended up in the position of having to purchase some vegetables in November that I would have tossed on my compost pile in July. Ah well, nobody ever said that living in Canada is an unalloyed joy.

My personal issue with this recipe is the main ingredient. We live across the road from a dairy farm, but our nearest neighbours are actually a flock of sheep, living in a blue barn just over the fence. Each spring I enjoy seeing the new lambs taking their first steps outside, not venturing far from the ewe. I have taken our children, and now our grandchild, over to see the new lambs for over 30 years. I always know when the lambs have been taken away to be processed from the plaintive bleating of the barn full of ewes. Lamb is never high on my list of food options.

Ingredients pictured below - green beans, olive oil, lamb shoulder, onion, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar. The lamb shoulder is cut into 2 " cubes.


Cooking time is over 1 1/2 hours until the meat is very tender, with everything in the same pot. Pretty simple.


The final result shown below. I must admit that this dish did not conform to my preconceptions of a "stew" - you know, like a beef stew with a mix of vegetables including potatoes and carrots swimming in a thick liquid.


What I liked about this recipe:

It expanded my idea of what constitutes a stew. Also, pretty easy preparation.

What I didn't I like about this recipe:

I'm not a big fan of lamb.

Would I make it again?

Well, one member of our family liked the lamb stew a lot - see below. I might make it again, but only if he's around.


Comments (6)

Isn't it interesting, Doug, that our perceptions of what is acceptable to eat is so based on our "humanization" of the particular animal?
I wouldn't eat horse or dog or cat, because I grew up thinking of them as companion animals -- never food. A friend of mine has a blind-from-birth pig as a pet. She wouldn't eat pork if she was starving. Another friend who has many pet bunnies feels the same way about rabbit.
Anyway, back to your post. This dish is beautiful!

David downie:

I consider this dish to be genius and quintessential Hazan: only a few ingredients, simple steps, and a divine result. I have cooked it quite a few times now and I have gotten better at it. It is easier for me to find good lamb that has been boned and I think Marcella's earlier book didn't mention the bone at all. It still works brilliantly although Marcella has reminded me that everyone knows the tastiest meat is on the bone, and food is to be eaten, not sucked through a straw. One tip I have is to brown the meat properly, as she instructs, as it makes a big difference to the flavour (not saying Doug's isn't browned properly - looks like it - but mine wasn't initially). And also resist the temptation to stir, use less oil, or do anything other than as instructed. I of course did all those things but it is better if you do not. Looking at the photos my stew tends to have a little more cooking juices than Doug. I'm not saying that's better or worse but they are delicious and there is always a rush here to soak them up with crusty bread. We cooked this just last night in beautiful Queenstown, New Zealand, although I have discovered there is a bean shortage here (I found them 3 hours away). I used a heavy cast iron pot I bought from the camping store just for this dish. I don't think I'll be able to sneak that one in the hand luggage for the flight back home.

Marcella Hazan:

Doug, thank you for persevering. Your grandson has a devastatingly marvelous face. I hope it stays with him as he grows, you are lucky to have such a companion. Thank you for sticking with this recipe notwithstanding your reservations. It is one of my favorite dishes, Victor calls it molto Marcella, very me. I love animals. Yet I have seen pigs slaughtered (have you read my memoir?), and chickens, lambs, goats, in Verona I eat horsemeat stew, I may even, unknowingly, have eaten cats during the war. How do we reconcile our sentiments with the pleasure the taste of flesh gives us? We have been made able to separate the two, a piece of edible matter on the plate is not the creature that engaged our feelings when it was alive.

David, if you haven't already done so, don't leave a good cast-iron pot behind. Can't you mail it? You must love your tools as Doug loves living lambs.

Marcella, you must be right about the ability of most to separate their sentiments. Here in the midwest, the farming communities have active 4-H programs. In these programs, a young person selects and raises an animal to maturity. Pampering it, taking care of it, and loving it. Then taking it to the county fair to compete for ribbons. And then the animal is auctioned to the highest bidder. Sometimes for breeding, but usually for slaughter.

David downie:

Marcella, I have not yet departed NZ, nor have I posted the pot. I could still do that next week, or I could leave it for the next person to rent the lovely apartment I am staying in. I am walking the Milford Track from Saturday - 4 days and 3 nights in what must be one of the most beautiful walks in the world. I will return to the apartment, and pot, following this, and hope to cook a chicken in it (the pot that is). Perhaps by then someone in New Zealand will have discovered rosemary.


I always wondered: does the book call for 3 pounds of lamb, including the bone, or 2+ after the bone is removed?


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 24, 2010 6:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Lamb Chops Pan-Roasted in White Wine, Finished Marches Style with Egg and Lemon.

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