Lamb Neck Stew with Polenta
This stew is from Bari, a coastal town in southeastern Italy, where lamb is a staple.
Yield: serves 4
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled, and finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled, and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 lb. lambs' necks, in pieces
- 2 28-oz. cans whole tomatoes
- 3 bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 2⁄3 cups yellow cornmeal
- 3 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and blanched
- Preheat oven to 325°. Cook onions and garlic in oil in a skillet over medium-low heat until soft, about 15 minutes.
- Place lamb in a large roasting pan. Add onion mixture, tomatoes, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 3 hours.
- About 45 minutes before lamb is done, begin making polenta. Combine cornmeal and 7 cups cold salted water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until polenta pulls away from the sides of the pot, about 40 minutes.
- About 20 minutes before lamb is done, add beans. Continue cooking, until lamb is very tender. Discard bay leaves, season with salt and pepper, and spoon over polenta.