Neapolitan Easter Fricassee of Lamb

Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 pounds boned lamb shoulder or leg, in about 2-inch pieces, rinsed and well dried
4 medium onions, halved and very thinly sliced

1 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
3 large eggs
1 cup grated caciocavallo, Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon slices or quarters, for garnish.

1. Place deep, wide casserole over medium-high heat, and add oil. Brown lamb in batches, transferring to shallow bowl when done. Stir onions into pan, adding juices from bowl. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until onions almost melt, turning golden but not brown, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Add a little water if onions begin to brown.
2. Add lamb and 1/2 cup of wine. Cook uncovered over very low heat until wine is nearly evaporated, about 45 minutes. Add remaining wine, peas, and 1/2 cup of water. Continue cooking uncovered over low heat until peas are very tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer lamb, onions and peas to a warm serving platter, and set aside in a warm place.
3. Place casserole over very low heat so juices barely simmer. Whisk eggs in a bowl and add cheese. Whisk ladles of hot pan juices into eggs until mixture is quite warm, then pour into casserole, whisking continually. Whisk over very low heat until thick enough to coat a spoon. Do not boil or eggs will curdle; if sauce nears a boil, remove from heat and whisk to cool as rapidly as possible.
4. Remove sauce from heat and whisk in parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over lamb and peas, garnish with lemon slices, and serve immediately.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

From the article: On Easter, Symbolism And the Exuberance of Spring

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