In a bowl, toss the lamb with the salt and fresh ground pepper.
Cover and let the meat come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
In a deep saucepan or Dutch oven large enough to hold the entire stew, add 2 Tbl. olive oil and all the onions.
Cook over medium low heat.
In a large sauté pan, add a little olive oil and brown all the meat in batches. As the meat is browned, remove and add to the pan with the onions. Continue until all the meat is browned.
Add the white wine to the empty sauté pan and turn up the heat. Scrape up all bits of meat from the pan and then add the contents of the pan to the onions and lamb.
Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato sauce, olives and thyme to the lamb. Mix gently and turn the heat down to simmer the stew. If the lamb is not completely covered, add a little more wine.
Simmer the stew on low, uncovered, until tender, about 1½ hours.
Taste and adjust for salt. (Don’t over salt in the beginning, as the olives will add salt while cooking).
10 minutes before serving:
In a small bowl mix the minced anchovy and parsley. Add to the stew and gently stir and cook for another 10 minutes.
Serve in a deep bowl with crusty bread for dipping.
Recipe by Jane O'Riordan