Preheat the oven to 350°
Trim any fat or tough muscle from the lamb, then cut into 1 ½” chunks. Pat the meat dry with paper towels (to get better browning). In a Dutch oven or other deep ovenproof pan with a lid, heat the butter and olive oil over medium high. Brown the meat, in batches if necessary, and remove to a bowl when nicely browned on all sides (about 5 minutes).
Cut the fennel bulb in half, then slice across the bulb in ¼” slices. Turn the heat down to low and add the onions, garlic and fennel to the pan. Stir and continue cooking for about 5 minutes or until the onions are limp. Add all the spices and stir to coat the vegetables. Return the meat to the pan and stir to combine.
Turn the heat up to high and add the chicken stock and red wine. Add the olives. Crush the tomatoes with your hand into the pot. Stir until the stew begins to simmer. Stir in the fennel top and turn the heat off.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap, then place the lid on snugly. This will ensure a tight seal.
Place in the oven and braise for 45-60 minutes, or until meat is very tender. Taste for salt.
Recipe by Jane O'Riordan