Lamb Stew Foggia Style with Olives and Fennel Seeds

Lamb Stew Foggia Style with Olives and Fennel Seeds
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8Servings


  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cups green olives, preferably Italian
  • 2 cups sweet aleatico wine or sweet red vermouth
  • 2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce
  • 2 dried hot chilies
  • Soft-cooked polenta, for serving


Season the lamb with salt and pepper. In an 8- to 10-quart Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat until smoking. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the lamb in 2 batches and cook on all sides until golden-brown, about 8 minutes total; transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add the pancetta to the pot and cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 3 minutes; add the onion, celery, carrots and fennel seeds and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the olives, wine, tomato sauce and chiles and bring to a boil. Stir in the reserved lamb pieces and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Skim the fat off the top of the stew, if desired; serve the stew over the polenta.