This stew is so tender, so tasty, and so simple. Tonight we served it with mashed potatoes, but it is also great with dumplings.
- 1.5 kg neck of mutton or lamb, chopped
- 3 tbsp mild paprika
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 onions, peeled and chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 500ml stock
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- chopped parsley
- Check the meat over, remove any excess fat or loose bits of splintered bone. I leave the neck chops with the bone in.
- Mix the spices, salt and pepper, flour and meat together in a container, seal it and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to cook; this could be overnight, but don’t worry if you forget and don’t have so much time.
- Heat the olive oil in a large casserole pan, and gently fry the onions until they are soft.
- Add the meat and heat through, before adding the stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 2 hours or so. This can be done in the oven, temp 130 C
- Once it is cooked, add the lemon juice (which is optional) and serve garnished with chopped parsley.
- If you want dumplings, mix 225g self-raising flour with 110g suet and chopped parsley, and add enough ice-cold water to make a loose dough. Make balls of dough about the size of walnuts, and drop them into the stew. Let them cook for around 20 minutes.
Delicious. Also, adaptable. You can swap around the stock, add wine, add a few herbs such as bay leaves and oregano, add sliced potatoes for the last hour of cooking instead of dumplings.
There were several reasons to cook this tonight. First of all, we have a lot of fresh vegetables in the garden, and Malcolm requested plain cabbage, no messing with stir fries or salad, just lightly boiled, seasoned and buttered. Next, we had some lamb in the freezer, and I wanted to test out a new mincer. Also, we have some lovely potatoes coming in, the crop we are eating just now is Arran Pilot, and I wanted to see how well they mashed. They mashed very well indeed.
- 1 tbsp oil (I used olive oil)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 medium carrots, in small chunks
- 500g lean minced lamb
- 500ml lamb or beef stock
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 900g potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
- 75g – 85g butter
- milk, to achieve consistency
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pan, and when it is hot, add the onion and carrots, and cook over a medium heat until the onion is softening
- Add the minced lamb, and turn the heat up, browning the mince
- Add the tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and stock, and bring to a simmer.
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, then uncover and simmer another 20 minutes to reduce the liquid. Season to taste with pepper and salt, if required.
- Boil the chopped potatoes in salted water, and drain. Mash with the butter, and a little milk to make a soft smooth mash.
- Add the mince to an oven-proof dish, and then put the mashed potatoes on top, using a fork to make patterns that will crisp up in the oven.
- At this point, the pie can be frozen or put in the fridge for cooking later
- To cook the pie, bake for around 30 minutes. Leave to stand a few minutes before serving.
To cook the cabbage, I cut it into wedges, cooked it for around 5 minutes in boiling water, then I poured the water off, and added salt, pepper and butter.
This feeds about eight people, or six very hungry teenagers.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 450g lamb mince
- 1 beef stock cube
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 450g macaroni
- 250g ricotta
- 75g parmesan
- 50ml cream
- 2-3 eggs
- salt and pepper
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil, and very gently fry the onion for around ten minutes. Towards the end of the cooking, add the chopped garlic.
- Add the lamb mince, and turn the heat up to medium. Stir it into the hot oil to brown it, around 5 minutes. Add the oregano and cinnamon as you cook the mince
- Add the tinned tomatoes and the stock cube, stir and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes, then take the lid off and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper at the end of cooking.
- Next, cook the macaroni according to the instructions on the pack.
- In a bowl, combine the ricotta, cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg and eggs. Stir in 50g of grated parmesan. Stir in the cooked macaroni
- Pour the mince into a large lasagne dish, and then top this with the macaroni. Sprinkle the top with around 25g grated parmesan. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
I served this with a green salad. It is good the next day served at room temperature.
Oh, this is so delicious, I would cook it every week if I had enough local lamb. I got the basic recipe from ‘Dear Francesca‘ but adapted it to use some ingredients that I already had.
- 2 to 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 1 kg (+) gigot chops (or other chops) or lamb shoulder – trim the chops of fat,
- salt and black pepper
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 pinches of dried thyme, or 1 tsp of Italian dried herbs
- 1 tbsp red pepper paste
- 200ml stock or water
- 8 small new potatoes, or 4 large potatoes peeled and cut into chunks.
- In a large casserole dish, heat the olive oil, and fry the garlic and onion over a low low heat for ten minutes.
- Set the onions aside, and fry the meat in the olive oil to seal it.
- Return the onions and garlic to the pan, and add the tinned tomatoes, pepper paste and herbs. Bring to a simmer.
- Cook in the oven at 180C for 30 minutes. At this stage, the stew can be frozen or kept in the fridge to finish cooking alter.
- Add the potatoes to the pan, and the extra stock if required, and cook on the stove top until the potatoes are cooked (about half an hour or so)
And you’re done! The book suggests chicken or beef versions of the same stew, but with lamb it is just glorious. We served it with a green side salad.
I can’t believe I haven’t shared this recipe before. It uses the vegetables that are making a come-back after the winter, and is also a good way to use some of the Allium triquetrum leaves as they start to grow. It is a very unusual flavour for western palates, the dried limes and turmeric give the stew a rich flavour. I used the recipe in ‘Nightingales and Roses’ and added the vegetables growing in the garden. I wonder what it would be like with a bit of lovage?
- 3-4 dried limes (from Persepolis or other online shops)
- 100g parsley
- 100g coriander
- 100g spinach or chard
- 1 handful of kale tops
- 1 handful of Allium triquetrum or inner leaves from small leeks
- olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 500g lamb (from shoulder or best end of neck) in large pieces.
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 can borlotti beans, drained
- Cover the limes in hot water, and weigh them down with a small plate so that they soften over the next couple of hours.
- Strip the leaves from the parsley and coriander, and rinse all of the green vegetables, and leave to dry.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a casserole dish and cook the onions until they are golden.
- Add the lamb and turmeric and fry until the meat is browned. Add enough stock or water to cover the meat and bring to a slow simmer. Continue to cook on a low heat for an hour.
- Use a food processor to chop the green vegetables finely. You’ll need to do this in batches.
- Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a pan and add the chopped vegetables, and cook until they begin to darken. Add the fried vegetables to the stew.
- Add the limes to the stew. To enhance the flavour, stab them a few times before putting them in. Braise for another 30 minutes
- Add the borlotti beans and simmer for another 30 minutes. Check the flavour and add salt to taste.
We had this with plain rice, and it was phenomenal. The main part of the stew is the beans and vegetables, with lovely tender lamb morsels.
This recipe is probably not that authentic, but it is based on a US recipe for a Moroccan stew. I have adapted it to use locally available ingredients and metric measures. I feel very strongly that if we are to eat meat at all, it should be local, and there should be no waste. This ‘nose to tail’ approach covers ingredients that are not commonly available in supermarkets, but can be acquired locally, before they are discarded.
Before you start, be aware that this recipe requires marinating overnight, and a slow cook the next day, so not a quick cook. I managed to set the oven onto automatic, so it was ready when I came home.
- 6 lamb hearts
- 100ml good quality olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 100g sliced dried apricots
- 2 medium onions, sliced thickly
- 50g chopped black olives
- 500ml stock
- 4 large carrots (or squash or pumpkin or sweet potato) in 1 inch chunks
- Prepare the hearts. cut away the coronary arteries around the top of the heart, as well as the auricles (small flaps at the top) and then cut the muscle into 1 inch chunks, or as close as possible. Put them in a sealable container and add the marinade ingredients as you prepare them.
- Grind the fennel seed in a mortar and pestle, and add this to the lamb hearts along with the cumin, coriander and turmeric.
- Add the grated ginger, crushed garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well together. Seal the container and put it in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, slice the onions into thick slices. Fry in olive oil, over a low heat, for around ten minutes, until soft and brown, and transfer to a casserole dish.
- Remove the meat from the marinade, and fry in the same pan to brown it, and then add it to the casserole dish.
- Add the vegetables, stock, the marinade, cinnamon stick and bay leaves to the pan, and bring this to a simmer, check the seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and cook at 180C for 2 hours. Remove the cover for the second hour, to reduce the gravy a little.
- I garnished this with chopped parsley and coriander.
This is a classic middle eastern dish, found all around the Levant and beyond. I derived this recipe from ‘Moro’ – but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without a really good mincer. I borrowed one as part of a bid to make white pudding, of which, more later. There are some good YouTube videos out there showing the technique, and many many versions. It is easier than it looks at first sight.
- 250g very lean lamb, minced twice, second time on a fine setting
- 1/2 small onion, grated finely
- 125g fine bulgur wheat
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 150g lean lamb, minced once on a medium setting
- 1 heaped teaspoon of Baharat spice mix (or 50/50 cinnamon and allspice, with a pinch of paprika)
- 3 tbsp pine nuts and flaked almonds
- 1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper
- Greek yogurt, flavoured with mint, salt and pepper, crushed garlic, and a drizzle of best olive oil
- Start by making the outer layer. Wash the bulgur wheat with water, and set aside
- Mix the minced lamb with grated onion, salt and pepper.
- ‘Kneed’ the bulgur wheat for around five minutes and then mix well into the minced lamb, to make a stiff paste. Set aside in the fridge.
- Next, make the filling. Toast the nuts in hot olive oil. As soon as they start to brown, scoop them out of the oil and set them aside.
- Fry the chopped onion in the olive oil very slowly for around 15 minutes, until caramelised.
- Add the lamb and Baharat spice mix and turn up the heat a little, to start cooking the lamb. Break up the lamb with a spatula as it cooks. Add a spoonful of cold water to slow the cooking a little, and cook until the pan is dry.
- Add the nuts and the chopped herbs, salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
- To make the kibbeh, take a ball of the casing about the size of a golf ball, and hollow it out, making a thin-walled cup of paste, and then fill this with the fried lamb filling, and seal it shut, making something lemon-shaped. Continue this way until all the mixtures are used up.
- Deep-fry the kibbeh in hot olive oil for around five minutes, turning to ensure they are brown all over.
- ALTERNATIVELY put half of the casing at the bottom of an oiled baking dish, add all of the filling and cover with the rest of the casing. Cook for 15 minutes in a hot oven.
Serve with the yoghurt garnish, fresh flat-breads, and a sharp green herb salad. For a more substantial meal, serve with a vegetable pilau.
This is an Italian recipe from Elizabeth David’s classic, ‘Italian Food’. It is delicious even if not cooked perfectly. I was very lucky and bought some really good quality hogget from West Gerinish, very tender, very tasty. I also used the mystery herbs – called ‘herbs for meat’ or ‘Italian seasoning’, possibly.
- About 900g to 1kg lamb cut in one piece from the leg.
- A couple of carrots, chopped
- A stick of celery, chopped
- an onion, chopped
- Chopped turnip, about the same volume as the carrot
- Rind of 1 sweet orange
- Juice of half the orange
- 1 tsp coriander seed
- 1 tbsp mystery herbs, or use oregano or marjoram
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 1 can of chopped tomato
- 2 glasses sweet white wine (or one of table wine, one of marsala)
- olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- A splash of balsamic vinegar
- About 200ml stock (vegetable, chicken or lamb)
- Chop a clove of garlic finely, and rub it into the meat along with a handful of the mystery herbs, salt and pepper.
- Brown the meat in a little oil in a casserole dish, and then set aside.
- In the same pan, fry the chopped onion slowly in the onion, and then add the garlic, and the rest of the chopped vegetables, garlic, coriander and orange rind, and cook until softened.
- Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer then add the meat and white wine, and salt and pepper, and 200ml of stock. The meat should cook on a bed of vegetable stew, slowly roasting in the steam.
- Cover and simmer gently for two hours. This works better in a low oven. Keep an eye on the stew to make sure it doesn’t boil dry.
- At the end of cooking, squeeze the juice of half an orange over the meat and let it settle before serving.
We got hold of some locally raised mutton the other week, and the first thing I made was this, so delicious. I love Persian food, and this recipe is just wonderful, so subtle and warming. It should be served with barberry rice, (zereshk polo), but we had it with plain rice, because I didn’t know at the time.
The recipe is from Maryam Sinaiee’s book, Nightingales and Roses. All of the recipes I have tried from this book have been easy to follow, and delicious. She also writes a food blog called The Persian Fusion, which has a good gluten-free section as well.
- 1 large head of cellery
- 100g flat-leaf parsley
- 80g mint leaves
- 6 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 500g lamb or mutton, cut into chunks (preferably lamb neck fillet or lean shoulder, but I had a bit of leg)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp plain foulr
- 1/2 tsp salt
- juice of half a lemon
- black pepper
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy casserole dish, and fry the onions over a moderate heat, until they start to brown
- Add the lamb/mutton and the turmeric, and fry until lightly browed on all sides.
- Pour over boiling water, to cover the meat by a couple of centimetres. Bring to the boil, and then lower the heat so that the lamb/mutton can cook for the next hour.
- Next up, prepare the herbs. Remove any tough-looking stems from the mint and parsley, and add any leaves from the celery. Put them in a food processor, or slice finely. This makes quite a mound of chopped herbs.
- While the lamb continues to cook, cut the celery stalks into 2 centimetre pieces. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, and add the celery along with 2 tbsp water, and cover. The celery should cook for about half an hour, until almost soft and beginning to brown at the edges.
- Once the meat has been cooking for an hour, add the cooked celery pieces with all their juices.
- In the frying pan, heat another 2 tbsp oil, and add the herbs and flour, stir and cook for 4-5 minutes, making sure that the herbs don’t burn. Add the cooked herbs to the stew.
- Bring the stew back to the boil and cook for another hour (possibly an hour and a half) – the meat should be really tender and the sauce should be thickened.
- Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, cook for a further five minutes.
Serve with rice; I will test out the Zereshk Polo recipe soon.
So delicious. I tried this recipe from the marvellous book, ‘Nightingales and Roses’ by Maryam Sinaiee. I had to order the grapes pickled in brine from Persepolis in Peckham. They also have excellent quality saffron and other essential Persian spices. If you can’t get pickled grapes, something else sour would do, such as lime or lemon juice, or small gooseberries.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- around 400g boned lamb, for example, leg steaks or boned shoulder, cut into fairly large chunks.
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- a pinch of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 25g butter
- 500g carrots (around 5 medium carrots) chopped into batons around 3cm long.
- a tiny pinch of saffron dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
- 4 tbsp pickled sour grapes.
- Over a medium heat, fry the onion in the olive oil, until beginning to brown.
- Add the meat, turmeric, cinnamon and cumin, and fry until the meat is browned.
- Stir in the tomato paste and salt, and stir and cook for another couple of minutes. Pour over enough boiling water to cover the meat, bring to a simmer and set to cook over a low heat for an hour and a quarter or so.
- Meanwhile, cut the carrots into batons and fry in the butter until beginning to caramelise at the edges.
- When the meat is almost cooked, combine with the carrots and add the saffron water, and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes or so.
- Check the seasoning, add the pickled grapes and stir. When you are sure the meat is really tender, serve with basmati rice.