Lamb, Fennel & Leek oven Risotto

A one pot dish, full of rich winter flavour and definitely comforting!!

This is best cooked in a heavy oven to table lidded casserole.
It involves stove top pre cooking and then slow cooking in the oven for 1 1/4 hours+

Heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over a moderate heat and seal your lamb.
Forequarter lamb chops, chump chops are fine, allowing one per person.
 Diced leg of lamb (if you want it without the bones) can be used.
Seal the lamb chops on both sides, for just a few minutes, turning half way through.
Remove from the pot and set aside whilst you put together the rest of the vegetables
 and rice in the same pot.

Prepare...
3 garlic cloves - crushed or finely chopped
1 leek, washed and chopped
½ cup of chopped parsley
Fennel bulb - the feathery leaves - about 1/2 cup chopped.
Rest of the Fennel bulb, thinly sliced (perhaps use only half if a really large bulb!

Into the hot casserole on a reasonable heat (add more olive oil if needed)
toss all the vegetable and herb ingredients in and stirring, cook for just a few minutes.

Add 1 cup of Risotto rice ( no risotto rice any rice will do though short grain works better).
Stir through the mixture and cook for a couple of minutes to coat and absorb juices.

Add 1 cup of Vegetable or Chicken Stock, continue stirring and let the rice absorb the mixture.

When liquid has been absorb, add 1 cup of FULL CREAM MILK, stir through thoroughly,
add the seared lamb into the mixture, stir, pop the lid on and place in a low oven 150c for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes - check the dish, liquid should be well absorbed by now and will be gluggy!
Add 1 cup of either, more stock or white wine, stir, return to the oven for another 25 minutes.

Check again, if you wish you can add more liquid and cook further,
or can be left to stand with the lid on for about 10 minutes before serving.

15th September 2006©Ian Haines


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