Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Under the Bell style lamb

While we were in Croatia one of the most spectacular dishes we had was Lamb under the bell which we had had on the Island of Hvar. This is traditionally cooked in a wood burning oven with a specialised metal pot with a dome top. Unfortunately I had neither of these, but I figured a hot oven and a cast iron pot would do the job.

This was really easy to do, in fact I have cooked it twice since returning from my holidays, one reason being that Hopcott has been carrying local lamb.  The racks of lamb are very expensive, but the shoulder chops are very reasonable and work wonderfully in this dish.

To feed 4

4 medium yellow potatoes quartered
1 onion chopped
2 red or yellow bell peppers quartered
2 zucchini sliced in thick slices
2 large or 4 small tomatoes chopped roughly
1 bayleaf
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 stalks of mint
4 large lamb shoulder chops.

Place all the vegetables in to wide cast iron cooking pot with a lid, season well with salt and pepper.

Place the lamb on top and tuck in the herbs and the tomatoes and season again with salt and pepper

Drizzle with olive oil and place the lid on and cook for 2 hours in a 400 degree oven. After which time the lambe is falling off the bone and the potatoes have soaked up all the flavour from the lamb, herbs and vegetables.

The lamb will have browned nicely and be falling off the bone. This is almost a one pot meal, but I did also cook some broad beans and made a green salad to round out the meal

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