- 1 boneless leg of lamb (sirloin half), about 1¬Ĺ pounds
- 2‚Äď3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces thick-sliced bacon or pancetta, chopped
- 1 large Spanish or mild onion, finely sliced
- scant 1 cup pearl onions, peeled
- ¬Ĺ tablespoon sugar
- generous splash of dry white wine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons quince paste (optional)
- 2/3 cup soft pitted prunes, halved
- 2 cups lamb stock
You will¬†love the combination of flavors in this stew‚ÄĒsweet onions¬†and prunes offset salty, smoky bacon to create a sweet and¬†savory sauce for tender lamb.
- Trim off the fat and sinew from the leg of lamb and cut it into¬†small chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a thin¬†layer of olive oil in a heavy-based pan or a cast-iron¬†casserole until hot. Fry the lamb in several batches to avoid¬†overcrowding the pan. The pieces should take about 2¬†minutes to brown on each side. As they are ready, remove¬†to a plate and set aside.
- Add a little more oil to the pan and fry the bacon until lightly¬†browned, 3‚Äď4 minutes. Tip in the Spanish and pearl onions¬†and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to¬†soften, 4‚Äď6 minutes. Add the sugar and a little more salt¬†and pepper and cook until the onions have slightly¬†caramelized, 2‚Äď3 minutes longer. Deglaze the pan with a¬†generous splash of white wine, scraping the bottom with a¬†wooden spoon to dislodge the sediment. Let the wine boil¬†down until reduced to a sticky glaze.
- Return the meat to the pan and stir in the cinnamon, ginger,¬†quince paste (if using), and half the prunes. Pour in the¬†stock and bring it to a gentle simmer. Cover the pan and¬†turn the heat down to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1¬†hour. Add the remaining prunes to the pan and cook until¬†the lamb is very tender, about 30 minutes longer. Taste and¬†adjust the seasoning before serving.