I got a telling off from Philip for offering you a kedgeree recipe for Easter day. Where’s the leg of lamb, he complained? Unfortunately, the price of new season lamb is pretty prohibitive so I made this delicious lamb stew with artichokes to make peace.

He’s happy again. The way to a man’s heart!


2 tablespoons’ oil, olive or rapeseed

1 clove garlic, peeled

2 medium onions, peeled and finely sliced

1 fresh bay leaf

800g lamb shoulder, cut into bite sized pieces

100ml dry white wine

3 fresh tomatoes, cubed

Sea salt and black pepper

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 unwaxed lemon

2 fresh artichokes

Flat leaf parsley and oregano


Choose a heavy bottomed casserole that will fit in the oven.Warm the oil in the casserole, add the garlic, onions, and bay leaf and, with the lid on, cook slowly until the onions are soft and translucent.

Remove and set aside. Increase the heat. Add the lamb pieces in batches, turning in the oil until they are well-browned on all sides. Add all the lamb back to the pan, season well and add the wine, cooking on a high heat until the alcohol has evaporated. Heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. (You can also simmer the lamb on the hob.)

Add the onions back to the casserole with the tomatoes, and enough hot water to just cover the lamb. Add the thyme and 2 slices of lemon peel.

Cover and cook for 45 minutes until the lamb has started to soften. Prepare the artichokes.

Remove all the outer coarse leaves and trim the stalk near the base. Cut the crown into 4 pieces and scrape away the spiky choke hairs in the centre. Rub with lemon juice and keep in cold water until ready to use to stop them browning. Be careful to trim away all the coarse leaves as they will not make good eating.

After 45 minutes add the artichokes to the stew, tucking them under the liquid so they cook well. Add more hot water if necessary. Cook for a further 30 minutes or so until the lamb is completely tender, and the artichokes are cooked. Check seasoning.

Add a squeeze of lemon juice and lemon zest, and serve with chopped flat leaf parsley and fresh or dry oregano.

You can also add a couple of King Edward potatoes, peeled, and quartered at the same time as the artichokes. This recipe will work well with Jerusalem artichokes or red peppers.

Mary Contini OBE is a writer and Director of Valvona & Crolla ltd. We are happy to welcome you in our CaffèBar and shop again, open all day. Book and order online: www.valvonacrolla.com

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