100mL extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
18-24 small brown pickling onions, depending on size
2 tsp sea salt
1.2kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 4-5 cm pieces
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 tsp ground cumin
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
400g can crushed tomatoes
250mL red wine
250mL beef or vegetable stock, plus extra if needed
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 cinnamon sticks
8 whole cloves
2 fresh, or dried bay leaves
400g dried orzo or other small pasta such as risoni
Heat 60mL of the oil in a heavy-based flameproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of the salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining to the dish and increase the heat to medium-high. Add half the lamb and cook, tossing and seasoning with half the remaining salt, for 2-3 minutes or until browned. Repeat with the remaining oil, lamb and salt.
Return all the meat to the dish and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the onions, tomato paste, cumin and pepper and stir to combine. Add the crushed tomatoes, wine, stock and vinegar. Add cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaves and stir to combine.
Bring to the boil, cover with a lid or foil lined with baking paper, reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours or until the lamb is tender. If it starts to look a little dry, add a touch of water or more stock.
When the lamb is almost ready, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for 1 minute less than it says on the packet, or until al dente. Drain and toss in a little extra oil.
Take the stifado to the table and serve with a share bowl of pasta, or spoon the pasta onto a large platter and top with the lamb.
Credits: Recipe and image from Yummy Easy Quick Around the World by Matt Preston. Published by Pan Macmillan. RRP $39.99, available now.