Lamb Marsala derives its name from the Marsala wine so important in its preparation and cooking as well as the basis for the accompanying sauce. Here is a little background information regarding Marsala wine.
Marsala Wine – Marsala wine is a fortified wine that hails from the region immediately surrounding the Italian city of Marsala; which is located on the island of Sicily. Whether sweet or dry; Marsala wine exhibits a deep shade of amber to dark red color with a very complex aroma and consistently high alcohol content of between 16% to 20%.
Marsala Wine and Cooking – It is these high levels of alcohol that have made Marsala wine very popular in both French and Italian cooking and dishes of all kinds. Marsala wine and the dishes created using it have also gained exceptional popularity in Italian restaurants throughout the United States.
Marsala Sauces – Preparation of a Marsala sauce typically involves reducing the Marsala wine to a near syrupy state.
Serves Six – The following Lamb Marsala recipe will make 6 adult sized servings.
800g Lamb Rump Steaks, 2 Ripe Tomatoes, 2 Garlic Cloves, 1 Brown Onion, 1 Long Green Chili, 1½ Cups Natural Yoghurt, ½ Cup of Marsala Wine, ¼ Cup Tamarind Puree, 1 Tablespoon each of Ghee, Ginger, Flour, 2 Teaspoon each of Ground Coriander, Cumin, Garam Marsala, 2 Pinches Rosemary and some Fresh Coriander for serving
- Cut the lamb into a mix of small cubes and thin strips and then lightly dust with flour. The easiest way to do this is to put the lamb pieces into a plastic bag, add some flour and then shake.
- Coarsely chop the onion
- Crush the two garlic cloves
- Grate the ginger as finely as possible
- Deseed and finely chop the long green chili
- Finely chop the tomatoes
- Using a large saucepan over a medium heat melt the Ghee
- Once the Ghee has completely melted add the onion, garlic and chili and cook for another five minutes or until the onion softens. Remember to keep stirring all the while.
- Now add the coriander and cumin and cook for another minute or until aromatic
- Next we add the lamb and while stirring cook for approximately five minutes until the lambs begins to brown
- Stir in the yoghurt, Marsala wine and finely diced tomatoes. Once stirred in immediately reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan and let simmer for about 1½ hours remembering to stir occasionally.
- Once the lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened somewhat stir in both the tamarind puree and Garam Marsala
- At this point add any other seasonings as desired. I usually use Italian seasoning and a little finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- Cook for another five minutes on a very low heat stirring all the while
Remove from heat and sprinkle with coriander as you serve. I find that garlic bread is a wonderful accompaniment with this meal. Sprinkling some Parmesan cheese over the dish is quite in vogue