Lamb with Olives
Meat stews are a hallmark of Corsican cooking, and with good reason: The herbs that go into them are the same ones that the animals graze on, creating a unique layering of flavors.
2 tbsp. lard or vegetable shortening
4 oz. salt pork, cubed
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 lbs. lamb shoulder (have butcher cut into medium pieces)
1 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup red wine
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
6 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and sliced
1/2-1 cup picholine or other good French or Italian green olives
1. Heat lard in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add salt pork and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add onions and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in lamb and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring often, until juices thicken and flour loses its raw flavor, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, wine, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add 2 cups water and bay leaves, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring often, until lamb is tender, about 1 hour.
4. About 30 minutes before lamb is finished cooking, stir in carrots and olives. Before serving, skim any fat from liquid and remove and discard bay leaves. Serve warm with slices of chestnut flour pulenda, if you like.