Morning Glory

Obsessive cook
Staff member
19 Apr 2015
Local time
8:03 PM
Maidstone, Kent, UK
Prebonata is an unusual Corsican dish, often made with beef or kid. Most recipes (and there are very few that I could find on-line) add the juniper berries to the sauce. Here I decided to marinate the lamb in red wine and juniper to increase the depth of flavour. I used red peppers (as the recipes I found suggested) but after tasting the dish decided it might have been even better with green peppers, to add that slightly sour taste which works so well with juniper. Later, I came across an old recipe for Prebonata in Elizabeth David’s Mediterranean Food and sure enough, it uses green peppers.

The final result is a very rich and intriguing tasting dish. Its good served with mashed potatoes or potato and celeriac mash but you could equally well serve it with rice.


Ingredients (serves 2)
375g lamb neck fillet, cut into large chunks
2 tsp juniper berries, lightly crushed
Red wine (to marinate)
3 large red or green (bell) peppers
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tin of chopped tomatoes
1 small glass of red wine
200ml chicken stock
4 sprigs of fresh thyme or oregano
1 tsp sugar (optional)
Salt to taste

  1. Place the lamb in a bowl, add the crushed juniper berries and mix. Cover with wine and leave to marinate for 2 hrs or overnight.
  2. Deseed the peppers and cut into thick strips. Char the peppers, skin side up, under a medium hot grill (broiler). Place the peppers in a bag or small covered container and leave to cool. Peel off and discard the skin.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the onion until softened. Add the tomatoes and the glass of red wine. Simmer until the sauce is thickened and reduced by one third. At this stage I pureed the sauce using a stick blender but this is optional.
  4. Add the lamb with its marinade, the oregano or thyme and the chicken stock to the tomato sauce.
  5. Simmer uncovered for 1 hr or until the lamb is tender. Add water if the sauce reduces too much.You are aiming for a thick sauce. Add salt and sugar, to taste.
  6. Add the strips of pepper and simmer for a further 5 mins.

I know you said it is a Corsican dish, but I find it very Middle Eastern. I would find it hard not to add some harissa!
I like everything in that recipe -- except the juniper berries. I'll be glad when the juniper/gin challenge is over, so every new recipe doesn't have juniper berries or gin in it. :rolleyes:


I think it would still be rather good minus the juniper - but they do add a dimension. If pushed, I'd substitute rosemary or fennel seeds.
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