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slow-cooked lamb with fennel

we’ve been away for a few days and came back to a kitchen which was home to 3 bulbs of fennel and not much else. my original plan was to make a pasta gratin, which a friend recommended, where the fennel is complemented with black olives, sundried tomatoes, lemon, oregano.

however, i had a craving for meat so decided to try these flavours and ingredients with a slow-roasted neck of lamb recipe that i've made before. this is wonderfully easy one-dish cooking – three bulbs of fennel and a red onion, all sliced thinly, put in a bowl with some chopped garlic, a handful of black olives (i used kalamata), a few chopped sundried tomatoes and chunks of lamb. add some oregano (dried is fine), the juice and zest of a lemon, olive oil and black pepper, mix together and then roast for c2hours at 160c.

we ate this with a salad of red onions (put them in a bowl with some lime juice, which is discarded after 5-10 minutes, to soften their flavour), cannelloni beans and tomatoes, dressed with olive oil and an extra squeeze of lime juice.

if the weather had been a bit cooler i’d have just added the beans to the lamb dish an hour before it finished cooking – it’s wonderfully forgiving and will adapt to whatever you have in.

Reader Comments (5)

It sounds lovely Abby. I really wish we both liked fennel but we just do not. Maybe slow cooked like this? I give it another go once or twice a year and am always underwhealmed by it.
June 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHelen
Fennel and lamb are a match made in heaven. I remember they used the combination in Greece often.
June 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbellini valli
hi helen, the fennel in this dish has a very subtle flavour as it's cooked for such a long time. it might be okay for you.

valli - i tend to use fennel with pork so it was nice to see it work well with lamb as well. i'll have to look up some more greek ideas using it.
June 8, 2010 | Registered Commenterabby
I love both fennel and lamb. This sounds like a winner to me.
June 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Food Hunter
I made this last night .... delicious! The fennel was a great match for the lamb. Served it with a salad of fresh peas, soya beans, watercress and red onion ... oh and a dollop of greek yoghurt on the side.
June 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSH

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