Recipe: Braised Lamb (or Pork) with Greens and Egg and Lemon Sauce

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On the island of Kea, pork is cooked with tender shoots of provatsa, or sea lavender, but any combination of seasonal greens—cultivated or wild—can be used.

Makes 4 servings

For the braised meat:
    • 12 cup olive oil
    • 2 12 pounds shoulder lamb chops, trimmed of most fat, or 112 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 2-inch cubes
    • 2 12 cups coarsely chopped scallions, white plus most of the green part
    • 1 cup white wine
    • 112 cups chicken or beef stock
    • 1 12 pounds mixed greens such as frisée, outer leaves of romaine lettuce, chicory, mustard greens etc. washed
    • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 12 cups chopped fresh dill
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the egg and lemon sauce (avgolemono):
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon corn starch
    • 4 - 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the braised meat: In a large, deep skillet or a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the meat in batches, turning often, until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes. Add the onions and sauté for two to three minutes more, or until they are soft. Add the wine, and as it boils pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until meat is almost cooked.

Coarsely chop the greens and add them to the meat with one cup of the dill, the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Add a little water if needed—the liquid should almost cover the meat and greens. Place an inverted heatproof plate over the meat and greens to keep them submerged. Cook uncovered for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the greens are tender and the meat is cooked. With a slotted spoon transfer the meat and greens to a separate pan. If the sauce is too thin, increase the heat to high and boil for a few minutes to reduce slightly. You should have about two and a half cups of broth.

To make the Avgolemono sauce:
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and two tablespoons water. Dilute the corn starch in the lemon juice and add it to the egg mixture. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about half the sauce from the pan into the eggs. Slowly pour the egg mixture back to the pot with the cooking liquid, whisking constantly, to prevent the eggs from curdling. As the sauce thickens, add the meat and greens to the pan, taste and adjust the seasonings with lemon juice, salt and/or pepper. Add the rest of the dill, reserving a tablespoon for serving, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes more. Sprinkle with dill and serve.

To read more about how Aglaia Kremezi uses Greece's wild greens in her kitchen, and to view a slideshow of her images, click here for the story.

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Aglaia Kremezi writes about food in Greek, European, and American magazines, publishes books about Mediterranean cooking in the U.S. and Greece, and teaches cooking classes. More

Aglaia Kremezi has changed her life and her profession many times over. She currently writes about food in Greek, European and American magazines, publishes books about Greek and Mediterranean cooking in the US and in Greece, and teaches cooking to small groups of travelers who visit Kea. Before that she was a journalist and editor, writing about everything, except politics. She has been the editor in chief and the creator of news, women's, and life-style magazines, her last disastrous venture being a "TV guide for thinking people," a contradiction in terms, at least in her country. She studied art, graphic design, and photography at the Polytechnic of Central London. For five years she taught photography to graphic designers while freelancing as a news and fashion photographer for Athenian magazines and newspapers. Editors liked her extended captions more than the pieces the journalists submitted for the events she took pictures for, so she was encouraged to do her own stories, gradually becoming a full time journalist and editor. You can visit her website at www.keartisanal.com.


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