There's nothing wrong with chicken cacciatore, but the flavours of this old classic go equally well with lamb.
½ cup olive oil
1.8kg lamb leg or shoulder, cut into 5cm cubes
2 large onions, peeled and thickly sliced
4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
1 red capsicum, sliced
200g button mushrooms, sliced
800ml tomato passata
125ml red wine
500ml vegetable stock, chicken stock or water
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs rosemary
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp finely shredded parsley, to serve
Heat a large lidded casserole over medium heat and add the oil. Brown the lamb in batches, removing each batch from the dish. After all the lamb has been browned and set aside, add the onions, garlic and capsicum, stirring until the onions are lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and return the lamb to the pot. Add the passata, wine, stock, bay leaves, rosemary, salt and sugar, and top up the pot with water until the lamb is covered. Bring to a simmer and simmer, covered, until the lamb is tender, about 1 to 1½ hours. Add the pitted olives and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
Allow to stand for 20 minutes before serving. To serve, stir through the vinegar and scatter with parsley. This is excellent served with a creamy polenta.
Also try: Adam Liaw's puftaloons with golden syrup