Lamb Fricassée or Abbacchio Brodettato is a typical Roman dish.
Is it? Fricassée is a French way of cooking meats, especially chicken (famous the Poulet Fricassee in Julia Child cookbook.) So, what is a dish of French origin doing among typical Roman recipes?
If you needed a proof that Roman cooking is a real mix of different styles, this is it. Rome was a very isolated small town for centuries, until it became capital of Italy in 1871. Before Rome, the Italian capital was the Northern town of Turin, in the region of Piemonte, bordering with France.
After being proclaimed capital, the court of the King of Italy moved to Rome, and with them a large group of government officials from the North. This probably explain the presence in Roman cooking of many refined dishes like Saltimbocca (veal scaloppini) and gnocchi (potato dumplings.) Fricassée is also associated with the American South, where the French left a strong mark in the local way of preparing food.
Fricassée or Brodetti are simple to make. The meat cooks slowly and when is ready the gravy is thickened by adding fresh eggs. The real twist in the Roman recipe is the use of “Abbacchio,” tender young lamb instead of chicken.
3 – 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 oz (60 g) bacon, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 lb (approximately 1,000 g) lamb, cut in large dice
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
1/2 cup (120 cc) dry white wine
1 cup (230 cc) warm water
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 lemon juiced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
1 tablespoon marjoram leaves
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
In a large saucepan on medium heat, put the olive oil, bacon, and onion.
When the onion will become soft, add the lamb ....
... and brown uniformly on all sides.
Add nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add wine and turn heat to high.
When the wine is evaporated, lower the heat to medium, add one-cup warm water, flour, and bring to boil.
When the liquid is boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, cover with the lid, and cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Beat the eggs. Add lemon, garlic, grated parmigiano cheese, marjoram, parsley, salt, and pepper.
When the lamb is ready, turn heat to high, pour egg mix into the saucepan, and stir vigorously, until a dense gravy forms. Remove from heat and serve warm.