The French term fricassee refers to meat cooked by a method somewhere between a sauté and a stew and served with a white sauce. It is a mystery how this term came to define a totally different thing in Greek cuisine. We Greeks call fricassee (φρικασέ) any meat or even fish, that is cooked with greens and thickened with avgolémono (egg and lemon) sauce. The most popular Greek fricassee calls for lamb with wild greens and herbs. In Greece we love wild greens which are collected in the country side, from September to May, and most often cooked in plenty of water and served as a salad seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice. Of course all kinds of greens such as kale, chicory or even lettuce can be used in a fricassee.
1kg lamb cut in chunks or portions
1 red onion chopped
200gr olive oil
1kg greens (kale, chicory, lettuce, roughly chopped)
2 fresh spring onions chopped
2tbsps chopped dill
1 litre of hot water
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meat in batches, cooking until just browned, - about 2 minutes. Remove meat to a plate and in the same skillet cook the onion, stirring, until it is softened (about 3 minutes).
Put the meat back in the skillet, add hot water, salt and pepper, cover, bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. When the meat has almost cooked add spring onions, dill and the lettuce, or any other greens you’ve chosen, and cook for 15 more minutes.
For the avgolẻmono :
2 whole eggs
Juice from 2 lemons
In a heat proof bowl, beat the whole eggs gradually adding the lemon juice until it is completely incorporated. Gradually add a few tablespoons of hot stock from the pot to the egg mixture, stirring rapidly as you add it. This prevents curdling. Once that is done you can add it to the skillet with the fricassee. Return to a boil for 30 seconds. Serve hot.