Volcanic lamb with egg & lemon sauce

Volcanic lamb with egg & lemon sauce

By
From
The Islands of Greece
Serves
4
Photographer
Steven Joyce

This dish was inspired by a restaurant called Sirocco on the island of Milos. Rather than cooking with a conventional oven, each night the Tseroni family bury dishes full of lamb, pork, aubergines or potatoes in a patch of hot volcanic sand on the beach beside their blue-painted restaurant terrace. This simple recipe is how the chef, Stella Tseroni, cooks lamb, although she leaves hers in the low and steady heat underground for seven hours. I wasn’t sure that it was possible to cook lamb with so little liquid, but she assured me the meat would produce its own broth and she was right.

The zesty lemon sauce is called avgolemono and can be made with any kind of stock, or used in soups. It is delicious when made with fish stock and drizzled over grilled whole fish.

Lamb

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 lamb shanks
6 sprigs thyme, plus more to serve
salt
freshly ground black pepper
400g baby new potatoes, in their skins
a little butter

Sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1 egg
juices from the lamb
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 140ºC.
  2. For the lamb, soften the onion gently in a wide pan with the olive oil. Increase the heat and add the lamb, browning the shanks thoroughly on all sides. Deglaze the pan with 4–5 tablespoons of water, scraping up any bits that have stuck. Tip the whole lot into an ovenproof dish with a tight-fitting lid and add the thyme, salt and pepper. Place the lid on the dish and put into the oven. Cook for 3 hours, or until the meat is falling from the bone.
  3. Just before the lamb comes out of the oven, boil the new potatoes in salted water until just tender. Drain and dry on paper towels then sauté gently in the butter over a medium-low heat, until lightly browned all over.
  4. When the lamb is cooked, spoon off most of the juices from the dish, leaving just enough so the meat doesn’t dry out. Keep it somewhere warm, with the lid on.
  5. Make the sauce. Beat the egg until creamy. Very slowly drizzle in the hot pan juices, whisking constantly to ensure the egg doesn’t cook and make the sauce lumpy, then add the lemon juice. Pour it all into a clean pan and warm over a very, very gentle heat, but do not bring anywhere close to boiling. If you feel there isn’t enough sauce, add a little stock or even water. You can also add more lemon juice, to taste. Remove from the heat and serve with the lamb, onions and potatoes, scattered with a few thyme leaves.
Tags:
The Islands of Greece
Rebecca
Seal
Greek
Greece
Europe
European
Mediterranean
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