Serves 8 or more
Peppers are a New World product, but they rapidly took hold in Italian soil, especially in regions of Calabria, Basilicata, and Sicily, in southern Italy. Most of the early immigrants came from these regions and, missing many of their traditional products, found a friend in the peppers they found in America and used them abundantly. Peppers are used much more in Italian American cooking than in Italian cooking, and can be found in recipes such as sausage and peppers, peppers frittata, chicken cacciatore with peppers, veal and peppers, and, as it would follow , lamb with peppers. A sturdy two-foot pepper plant yields an abundant quantity of peppers, and was a favorite planting in the small world backyard gardens of Italian immigrants.
- 3 to 3 ½ pounds of boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed , cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 fresh bay leaves , or 3 dried bay leaves
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 4 roasted red bell peppers, jarred or freshly roasted , cut into 1-inch thick strips
Season the lamb with 2 teaspoons salt. Spread the flour on a plate, and dredge the lamb in flour, tapping off the excess. Heat the olive oil and vegetable oil in a large skillet or shallow Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the lamb, and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove the browned lamb to a plate. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic to the skillet or Dutch oven. Once they are sizzling, reduce the heat to medium and toss in the bay leaves. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour ½ cup of the white wine into the pot so the garlic doesn’t burn.
Return the meat to the pot, sprinkle with oregano and let cook over gentle heat until the meat juices are released, then dried up again, about 5 minutes. Pour the remaining ½ cup white wine, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook until lamb is tender, about 1 hour. Check occasionally to make sure the lamb is still cooking in liquid. If not, reduce the heat to keep the bottom of the pan from drying up.
When the lamb is tender, uncover and pour in the vinegar and the remaining teaspoon salt. Cook, uncovered, until the liquid is almost gone, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted pepper-strips, and cook until the flavors come together, about 5 minutes.