Recipe – Braised Lamb with Red Wine, Tomatoes, Olives and Aromatic Spices

This is a robust, hearty dish that’s full of Mediterranean flavor. It goes really well served with pasta and because it’s basically a stew,  serving it on top of a pile of fluffy mashed potatoes would also be good.

The lamb is cooked until it’s falling apart and the addition of cinnamon, allspice and cloves make it really interesting.

I’ve adapted a recipe that I found combining Greek and Venetian cuisine, harking back to the days of the Venetian occupation of Corfu. I think the addition of Greek kalamata olives makes it even more Greek-ish. You can also make it with beef but lamb seems more springlike.

Braised Lamb with Tomatoes, Red Wine, Olives & Aromatic Spices

Braised Lamb with Tomatoes, Red Wine, Olives & Aromatic Spices


(Serves 6)


2 tablespoons of olive oil

1lb 6oz (600g) of lamb fillet, cut into 1 inch (2.5cm) chunks

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

2 medium carrots cut into 3/4 inch (2cm) slices

4 fat cloves of garlic, crushed

2 sticks of cinnamon

2 cloves

A pinch of ground allspice

1 bay leaf

9fl oz (250ml) of good red wine

Half a cup (120ml measure) of pitted kalamata olives, rinsed and drained

2 x 14 oz (400ml) cans of tomatoes, chopped or whole

Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper

1lb (450g) of short tube pasta

Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano


Heat half of the oil in a heavy pan. Season the lamb with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and brown in the hot oil in small batches – set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and gently sweat the onion until soft, about 8 minutes. add the carrot, garlic, spices and bay leaf. Cook for a couple more minutes then add the lamb along with any of the meat juices, followed by the tomatoes (and their juice) and red wine.

Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Simmer for 2 hours then remove the lid and cook for another hour, until the lamb is falling apart and you have a thick sauce.

Check the seasoning, remove the whole spices, put the lid back on and allow it to rest while you cook the pasta according to instructions.

Serve the lamb on top of the  cooked pasta in warmed bowls and offer some freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano to pass around.






About edibletcetera

I'm passionate about food; I cook, photograph, eat...then writes about it in that order. I'm also an occasional restaurant critic and caterer; a former newspaper columnist; author; social media/marketing communications; world traveler; dog lover; skier...and wit, (according to those who know me).
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