This Italian recipe is so easy and perfect for a romantic meal where you'd rather not spend all evening in the kitchen making, if you know what I mean... Anyhow, although lamb is the principal meat here, the true star of this recipe is the wild mushroom. It is a true flavour provider, and quite meaty, so you don't need too much lamb. I got mine from Poland in a jar, but if you go out picking your own, don't forget to take someone who knows a bit about wild mushrooms, as you don't want to have a romantic meal only to start seeing dancing purple squirrels and singing lemons...
1kg of leg or shoulder of lamb
1 long red pepper (of the sweet variety)
a minimum of 10 dried mushrooms (e.g. porcini)
5 cloves of garlic clove, crushed and chopped
some dried or fresh rosemary
some dried or fresh sage
1 tsp plain flour
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
about 250ml of hot water
10 roughly crushed black peppercorns
Pour boiling water over the mushrooms in a bowl until they are just about immersed. You can remove the mushrooms after fifteen minutes, Cut off the fat and skin from the outside of the lamb, then chop the lamb into bitesize pieces. Cut the pepper into small, long strips and chop the garlic and herbs.
Put some olive oil into a medium-hot casserole dish then add the lamb, and seal the outsides. The lamb will start leaking in to the oil, so that's what the flour is for. Put it in to soak up the liquid, along with some salt. Then add a little more oil and the red pepper, and soften it. Then put the herbs, peppercorns and garlic in. Shortly after, add the vinegar, and some hot water. Turn the heat right down and cook on a low heat for up to an hour. About twenty minutes before you serve up, put the wild mushrooms in.
Serve with one of the three Ps: polenta, potatoes or pasta. I had mine with cellentani, but farfalle or tagliatelle go well too.