Agnello Casce e Ove

This is the Italian version of a lamb fricassee, and very good it is. Culled from the great Anna del Conte, this is a traditional dish from central Italy. You can add some grated horseradish to the final cooking as they do in Venezia Giulia, which is very unusual for Italians, probably an influence from the Austrian Empire.


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 leg of lamb, about 3 lb, boned and cut into 1-in cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, very finely sliced
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • pint white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs
  • Juice of 1 lemon


Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan. When really hot, add the meat and brown rapidly on all sides, lifting and turning as you brown. Remove the meat to a side plate.

Put the olive oil and onion into a flameproof casserole large enough to receive all the ingredients, and sauté until soft. Add the meat and the thyme and mix well, then pour the wine over. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmering point, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the lamb is tender.

Beat the egg yolks lightly. Add the cheese, bread crumbs, and lemon juice, and mix all together with a goodly grinding of black pepper. Stir into the lamb and cook gently for a further 5 minutes or until the egg sauce has thickened. Stir all the time to avoid curdling. Adjust the seasoning and serve with little new potatoes, rice, or noodles, plus a good salad on the side I should think.