A creamy lemon sauce is the perfect finish for this classic Greek combination of stewed lamb and artichokes. The recipe uses canned artichoke hearts, so no need to wait until artichokes are in season. The crockpot ensures the most tender lamb you’ve ever tasted. Opa!
The Author Says: “This is my version of a classic Greek dish, lamb cooked with artichokes, then finished with a lemony avgolemono sauce. It’s absolutely luscious and makes a great dish for company or as part of a buffet. I like to serve this with couscous or hot orzo, a rice-shaped pasta, and a platter of steamed bitter greens, such as rapini, tossed in extra virgin olive oil and drizzled with lemon juice.” –Judith Finlayson
Lamb with Artichokes Recipe
Note: Works best in a large (minimum 5-quart) slow cooker
1 Tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil (approximately)
2 pounds (1 kg) trimmed stewing lamb, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
3 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons (10 mL) grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried thyme leaves, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) cracked black peppercorns
1 cup (250 mL) vegetable or chicken stock
2 cans (each 14 oz/398 mL) artichoke hearts, drained and halved (about 3 cups/750 mL)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup ( 125 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately) (1 lemon)
1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper, optional
In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add lamb, in batches, and cook, stirring, adding more oil if necessary, until browned, about 4 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, lemon zest, thyme, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil.
Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Stir in artichokes. Cover and cook on Low for 7 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours, until mixture is bubbly and lamb is tender. Spoon off 1 cup (250 mL) of the cooking liquid.
In a bowl, whisk eggs and lemon juice until frothy. Gradually add warm cooking liquid from the lamb, whisking constantly. Pour mixture into slow cooker and stir well. Stir in dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if using, and/or additional lemon juice. Serve immediately.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Recipe Source: “175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics” by Judith Finlayson (Robert Rose)
Reprinted with express permission.