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Abbacchio alla Romana (Roman-Style Pan-Roasted Lamb)

(recipe, Cathy Whims)

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Serve this hearty dish with potato gnocchi or mashed potatoes.


  1. 2 lb. lamb shoulder or shoulder chops (preferably young spring lamb), cut into 3-inch pieces with some bone attached
  2. All-purpose flour
  3. 4 Tbsp. lard or extra-virgin olive oil
  4. Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  5. 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  6. 1 rosemary sprig
  7. 1 garlic clove, smashed
  8. ½ cup red-wine vinegar
  9. ⅓ cup water
  10. 2 salted anchovies, soaked in water for 10 minutes and then filleted (see Note)


  1. Dust the pieces of lamb with flour, shaking off excess. Heat lard or oil in a rondeau or other large, heavy pot. Add the lamb and brown on all sides. Season with salt and pepper. Add sage, rosemary, and garlic, and turn lamb pieces over several times to soak up the flavor. Add vinegar, bring to a boil, and simmer until it almost evaporates. Add ⅓ cup water, bring to a boil, adjust heat to a simmer, and cover pot.
  2. Turn the meat from time to time until tender and beginning to come away from the bone, which could take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes; the younger the lamb, the quicker it will cook.
  3. When lamb is done, remove from the heat, add the anchovies to the pan, and mash them with a wooden spoon to dissolve them. Turn the lamb pieces around in the sauce and serve hot.


If you can't find salted anchovies, substitute a good-quality anchovy in olive oil, such as the Scalia brand.