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Arnaki (Lamb) Fricassee with Artichokes

Arnaki (Lamb) Fricassee with Artichokes

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Arnaki (Lamb) Fricassee is a Greek dish with a white sauce made with eggs and lemon juice, called Avgolemono.  It can be made with either lamb or goat and the addition of various vegetables varies, depending on the season.

During spring to early summer, this is a very popular dish in restaurants in Argolida, where I live, as 90% of the production of artichokes in Greece, comes from Iria, which is about 25 km from Nafplio.

If you don’t know how to clean and trim artichokes, I have you covered in an older post.

Artichokes in a bowl with water and lemon juice image

On Wednesday when I went to the farmers’ market I saw that artichokes were still sold there.

When the artichokes are cheap, I usually buy a lot, clean them and put them in the freezer in batches as those sold in the supermarkets are much more expensive.

Frozen artichokes image

However, this is a dish you can enjoy all the year round as you can make it with frozen artichokes, which is equally delicious.

However, if you want to make this dish after the artichoke season, try it with lettuce, which in fact is the most popular fricassée recipe.

However, you can also make it with any leafy greens, such as wild greens, with purslane, with stamnaggathi, with zucchini, with asparagus, with oyster (pleurotus) mushrooms, with taro, with celery or with celeriac and leeks.

To be frank though, I prefer the last three options made with pork rather than lamb or goat.

To flavour it you use dill or wild fennel or other aromatic herbs such as parsley, Mediterranean hartwort (kafkaliithres) or chevril (myronia).

To make this dish, baby lamb or goat, usually from the leg or shoulder and foreshank is cut into portions, washed, pat dried and sauteed with olive oil, in a pot.  

It is cooked until fork tender and then the vegetables are added and cooked for about 10 – 20 minutes, depending on the vegetables.

Finally, the avgolemono (egg lemon mixture) is added to make the sauce.

Lamb and goat are quite expensive in Greece so if you can’t afford them, or if you don’t like these meat, you can make the same dish with pork or chicken or even with fish, which, however, should be a boneless fillet.

Be careful though, as the time required to cook with other meat is not the same.  Chicken needs less time than pork and fish even less.

A vegetarian dish can also be made substituting meat with oyster (pleurotus) mushrooms.

You can find my Arnaki (Lamb) Fricassee with Artichokes recipe at the end of the post.

Lamb Fricassee with lettuce or other leafy greens:

Fricassee with Lettuce image

The ingredients and method are the same with that of the artichokes given at the end of the post, but instead of artichokes, you will need at least three big Romaine lettuce heads.

Romaine lettuce heads image
  • Wash the lettuce leaves and cut them in big pieces.
  • Blanche them for five minutes to wilt.  Drain and set aside.
  • When the meat is cooked add the lettuce and cook for fifteen more minutes.
  • Add the Avgolemono sauce.

    Katsikaki me Glystrida kai Maratho Fricassee

    (Baby Goat with Purslane and Fennel)

    Collage Katsikaki me Glystrida Goat image

    I made this recipe last year when there was lots of purslane growing in our garden.  Unfortunately, this year I have not seen any purslane yet.

    Katsikaki me Glystrida kai Maratho Fricassee

    Preparation time:  30 minutes

    Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes

  • Serves:  5

  • Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo baby goat from the leg, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp roasted garlic, mashed
  • 1 cup white dry wine
  • 2 cups (plus 2 more) water
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • Freshly grated black pepper
  • ½ tsp crashed fennel seeds
  • ½ cup wild fennel, finely chopped
  • 500 grams purslane

    Avgolemono sauce:

  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup lemon juice


    1. Wash and dry the meat.
    2. Wash and dry purslane.  Cut it into 5 – 6 cm pieces, discarding tough ends.
    3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and sauté the goat meat on all sides.
    4. Add the onion and sauté until translucent.
    5. Add the garlic, mix for a few seconds and add the wine.
    6. Cook for a few minutes until the alcohol evaporates and add water.
    7. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about one hour.
    8. Check if the meat has become tender.  If not add more water (I added 2 more cups) and continue cooking.
    9. Add purslane and fennel as well as salt, pepper and fennel seeds and and cook for fifteen more minutes.
    10. Add Avgolemono sauce.
    11. Let it rest for fifteen minutes and then serve.

      Katsikaki me glistrida goat and purslane image

Arnaki lamb with artichokes image

Arnaki (Lamb) Fricassee with Artichokes

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Arnaki (Lamb) Fricassee is a Greek dish with white sauce made with eggs and lemon juice, called Avgolemono. It can be made with either lamb or goat and the addition of various vegetables varies, depending on the season.


  • 1.500 grams leg of lamb or shoulder
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion or 6 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 6 artichokes
  • ¼ cup dill or fennel fronds, finely chopped
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Water, to cover the meat

For the avgolemono:

  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup lemon juice


  1. Cut the meat into medium portions, wash and pat dry.
  2. Peel the artichokes and keep them in water with lemon juice. (see video)
  3. Cut the meat into medium portions, wash and pat dry.
  4. Prepare the spring onions by chopping the white part and a little of the green part finely, as well as the onion, dill and parsley.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a pot and sauté the lamb on both sides.
  6. Add the onion and mix.
  7. Add enough water to cover the meat.
  8. Cover with the lid and bring to a boil.
  9. Skim off any foam forming on top.
  10. Cover again, lower heat and cook until the meat is fork tender, for about an hour.
  11. Add the artichokes and cook for fifteen minutes, or until soft.
  12. Season with salt and pepper.
  13. Add the parsley and dill and mix.
  14. Prepare the avgolemono (egg and lemon mixture) and add it into your pot 
  15. Take the pot with both hands and toss it around so that the avgolemono is mixed with the remaining food juices.
  16. Leave it to rest for 15- 30 minutes and then serve.
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 322Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 111mgSodium 189mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 8gSugar 3gProtein 13g

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Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

Recipes with Avgolemono Sauce

Learn how to make avgolemono sauce, to make more Greek dishes using this sauce:

Collage Lamb Fricassee with Artichokes image

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

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Friday 16th of June 2017

wow lots of flavours and creaminess! Though I don't eat lamb or goat, I definitely can snack on those artichokes and that sauce sounds just perfect for some homemade pasta or flatbread!

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