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lamb with artichokes and fava beans

Agnello alla giudaica for Passover: lamb with artichokes and fava beans

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Secondo
Cuisine Ebraica
Servings 4


  • 1 onion minced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 70 g olive oil
  • 1 kg lamb shoulder or leg or chops, anything will do
  • 120 ml white wine
  • 2 lemons
  • 10 artichokes
  • 20-30 fresh whole fava beans (frozen and shelled fava beans are ok too)
  • salt
  • freshly crushed black pepper


  • Heat oil in a large casserole over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until tender, for 4-5 minutes. Add lamb in batches, stir occasionally until browned all over, then add salt and pepper to taste and white wine. Let the wine evaporate, then add enough cold water to just cover meat, bring to the simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer until just tender.
  • Meanwhile, fill a bowl with water and squeeze in one lemon. Working with one artichoke at a time, remove tough outer leaves, then trim top and peel back stalk. Quarter lengthway, remove choke with a teaspoon, place in acidulated water and set aside.
  • If you bought your fava beans fresh, it's time to shell them. Open the pods and use your thumb to run down the inside of the pod, popping the beans out along the way to remove them from the pod.
  • Now the question is whether you want to shell the individual fava beans out of their skins too or not: I usually can't be bothered, but if you care about the way the dish looks, you should.
  • If you do, proceed as follows: bring a pot of water to a boil with a spoonful of salt, then blanch the beans for one minute.
  • Drain the blanched fava beans and shell them again to remove their skin. Using your thumb nail, break through the shell at the dimpled point at the inside curve of the bean, then squeeze the other end of the shell to pop out the fava bean. It's a hell of a job: if you want to skip it, no harm will come out of it, it's just that the beans look better when you take the skin off, as their colour is brighter.
  • When lamb is just tender, increase heat to medium and bring to the boil. Drain artichokes, collect fava beans and add both to lamb; squeeze in the juice of the second lemon and cook until artichokes are tender (4-5 minutes), then remove from heat.
  • Season generously to taste and transfer your lamb with artichokes and fava beans to a dish to cool slightly before serving.
  • I like to serve this lamb with artichokes and fava beans dish as a relatively dry roast, with just enough liquid from the bottom of the pan to make it juicy, but the traditional way to serve it is "brodettato", that is, in it's own broth. If you serve the lamb with artichokes and fava beans in it's broth, make sure to have enough bread at hand to dip into the sauce.
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