Lamb is Molly’s favourite meat; we don’t have it often as it’s quite pricey. When we do have it we like to buy one of the cheaper cuts, like the shoulder, and cook is slowly with dried fruits and chickpeas.
Served with saffron rice it’s a lovely, spicy, warm meal.
You can also do this in a slow cooker, just set the dial on low for 6-8 hours and deal with the fruit when you get home. Serve this with braised broccoli with slivers of garlic. Perfect.
Dairy, Egg, Gluten, Soya
For me its nut free and very nice - for Molly and Julian I add Almond slivers sprinkled on top.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Preheat oven to 160°C, 320°F
2kg Lamb shoulder – diced (I do this myself but it does take a good 20 minutes)
Zest and juice of 1 Orange
1 tin Chick Peas
1 Onion – sliced thinly
Pinch of Saffron
½ tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Coriander
Fresh Ginger – thumb sized piece grated
2 Star Anise
3 tbsp. Passata or chopped tomatoes
1 tsp green Harisa Paste
1 tbsp. Honey
1 tbsp. Corn Flour
Juice of ½ Lemon
500 ml Chicken/Lamb Stock
Dried Figs, Apricots and Dates – chopped up to make 1 ½ cups worth
Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a casserole dish and put on a medium heat on the hob.
Brown the diced lamb in small batches. Sprinkle the corn flour over the meat as you go. Once browned remove with a slotted spoon and leave on a plate to the side.
Once the meat has been browned, brown the onion for a few minutes to gain some colour.
You will have brown, sticky bits on the bottom of the casserole so deglaze with a splash of the stock. Scrape up the brown bits off the bottom of the pan so you get all that flavour in your casserole.
Put the lamb and chick peas into the casserole with the fried onion. Add in the Orange zest and juice, pinch of Saffron, Cinnamon, grated Ginger, Passata (or chopped tomatoes), Star Anise, Lemon juice, honey and green Harisa paste. Cover with 500 ml of stock and place in the oven for 1 ½ hours. Stir half way through and adjust flavouring with salt and pepper
Chop up a mix of dried fruit – figs, dates and apricots are nice. Chop up enough to make 1 ½ cups of dried fruit.
After 1 ½ hours in the oven take the casserole out and put it on a low heat on the hob. Add in the fruit and simmer while you make the rice and vegetables.
It’s best served with Saffron Rice – just add a good pinch of Saffron to your rice water and you’ve a beautiful, delicate accompaniment to this dish.
I also added sliced almonds for Julian and Molly. I can’t eat nuts but Almond slivers briefly fried in a bit of oil add, I’m told, a satisfying crunch.
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