Pignata di pecora

Ingredients

1 kg lamb, shoulder or leg
150 g ham, chopped
300 g onions, finely chopped
300 g tomatoes, skinned, seeded and coarsely diced
400 g potatoes, peeled and diced
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoon or olive oil
salt and freshly milled pepper
50g (1/2 cup) freshly grated Pecorino cheese

How to make the Pignata di pecora:

Cut lamb into small pieces. Heat the oil in a pan, and saute together chopped garlic and lamb for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finely chopped ham and add to the lamb, together with vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and pour in 1 glass of water. Cover and braise the lamb with vegetables over a medium heat for about 1 hour.

Sprinkle with freshly grated Pecorino cheese and serve hot.

Serves 5 – 6

Regional recipe from Basilicata

Lamb stew from Basilicata, Southern Italy is quite simple dish with lamb which is perfect for dinner.

In Basilicata lamb is a real delicacy for many years. In Lucania lamb dishes are always presented to many friends coming around. Tracing back the dish history, shepherds and farmers were not that rich to afford lamb as a daily food. In times of poverty and hunger the delicate lean lamb was considered to be a remedy. If a relative was seriously ill, the family would exchange its belongings for a lamb.

Even today the lamb meat is very attractive for many dishes. However, different Italian regions have their original recipes of the lamb stew and stew recipes have variations of ingredients to be used.