Lamb with Rosemary, Garlic and White Wine

Remove as much fat from a smallish leg of lamb as possible; don’t worry if the meat starts to come undone.

Skoosh six cloves of garlic, a good handful of rosemary leaves, a teaspoon of sea salt, the juice of half a lemon and a tablespoon of olive oil and honey in your mini-chopper.

Rub the mixture into the leg of lamb and leave covered at cool room temperature for 4-6 hours.  A lidded oval Pyrex is ideal for this.  Then put into a warm oven (160 – 170 degrees) with a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary and half a bottle of disappointing white wine for four hours.  Two hours in, add some new potatoes.  Stir them every half hour or so, adding a drizzle of honey if you feel like it, or turning the oven up if nothing much is happening.

When the knife goes in easily, take the meat out to rest in foil, turn the oven up, and let the potatoes frazzle a bit with the lid off for 15 – 30 minutes.

Lamb Curry with Tomatoes and Green Beans

The photo doesn’t do it justice, but this is my new favourite curry.  First, get about a kilo of diced lamb.  It’s best to buy a leg of lamb joint, and snip it up yourself, because it’s easier to trim away all the fat this way.  Put the lamb into a bowl with one teaspoon each of turmeric, dried ginger, sea salt, half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Mix well and set aside.

In a large, lidded pan, heat two tablespoons of oil until shimmering.  Add four cloves, two bay leaves and sizzle.  Now, add two sliced onions and let them brown.  Remove the onion from the pan, then add the lamb and let it brown.  When it’s browned, pop the onions back in, and add two chopped cloves of garlic and a teaspoon each of ground coriander, cumin and paprika.

Stir well, then add half a tin of tomatoes and 200ml of water.  Put the lid on and simmer for 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, make your fresh, tomatoey, curry sauce by putting one and a half tins of tomatoes, 100ml water, a chopped onion, four cloves of garlic, four long, green, hot chillis, six slices of fresh ginger, one teaspoon of turmeric, one teaspoonful of salt, two tablespoons of oil and a handful of fresh coriander into a medium-sized saucepan.  Boil with the lid on for twenty minutes, then liquidise.  Set aside until the lamb has cooked for an hour.

When the lamb is tender, add the sauce and a few handfuls of green beans.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve with plain, boiled rice and fresh coriander.  Also delicious with a few potatoes added.

Lamb and Spinach Curry

Fry 2 large, sliced onions in 4 tablespoons of oil until browning.

Skoosh up a two inch piece of ginger and 3 cloves of garlic and add to the onions.  Stir this into the onions with a teaspoon each of chilli powder, turmeric, ground cumin and salt.  Continue stirring and cook for 2 minutes more.

Add 500g lean diced lamb (I usually buy a leg or shoulder joint and cut it up myself so that there is no visible fat) and stir well.  Add half a tin of chopped tomatoes and stir.  Then add 400ml water and stir.  Put the lid on and cook slowly for 50 minutes.

Add 200g chopped spinach and cook – lid on – for a further 10 minutes.  Then take the lid off and turn up the heat to reduce the liquid for the last ten minutes.

Garnish with sliced chillis, ginger or coriander.

Flatbreads with Spiced Lamb

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You only need an hour, start to finish, to make this.  Begin by making your flatbread dough.  I use Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe (The River Cottage Family Cookbook ‘Easy Flatbreads’).  Here it is.

Mix about 250g plain flour with a teaspoon of salt.  Measure 150ml of warmish water and add a tablespoon of oil to the water.  Pour the water and oil gradually into the flour, stirring with your fingers and making sure that you stop pouring before the dough turns sticky.  If it does turn sticky, add a little more flour.  Knead the dough for just five minutes, then pop a plate over the bowl and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Now, make the spiced lamb.  Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, then add half a cinnamon stick, 3 cardamom pods, a bay leaf, 2 cloves and a teaspoon of cumin seeds.  When the seeds start popping, add two finely chopped onions, turn the heat to medium, and allow to fry for 5 minutes.

Then add a sliced green chilli, a tablespoon of grated ginger, two cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon each of ground coriander, ground cumin, hot chilli powder and turmeric.  Stir well.

Pop in 500g minced lamb, turn up the heat, stir it up and break it up until it’s more or less browned.  Add half a tin of tomatoes, put the lid on and simmer for about 25-30 minutes.

When it’s done, finish off your flatbreads.  Roll the dough into a fat sausage shape and cut into 8 pieces.  Warm another non-stick frying pan (no oil!), then quickly roll out your first bread.  Pass it from hand to hand to remove excess flour, then put it onto the hot pan.  After 30-60 seconds, turn it over.  You may want to turn it over a few times until it has bubbled a little and has brownish spots over it.

Keep the breads warm by covering with a tea towel while you make the rest.  When you’re ready, serve the spiced lamb mince on the flatbread with a good sprinkle of fresh coriander, a wedge of lemon, some yoghurt and perhaps some watercress.  I suppose this recipe should serve four, but I could have eaten much, much more.

You know those magical family baking moments you see in the films?  This was about as close to one of those that we’ve ever come, with Annie rolling out the dough while I cooked the flatbreads.  Thank you, Hugh!

BBQ Leg of Lamb with Couscous and Peppers

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This recipe is from Paul, our friend and renounced vegetarian.  We always hope that he’ll make it when we go to visit.

Before you start, you might want to make some pitta dough – the recipe is dead easy and you can cook the raw pittas in seconds on your BBQ at the last minute.(http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pitta_bread_97296).  It’s a happy feeling, watching them puff up before your very eyes!

Take a leg of lamb and ask your butcher to butterfly it for you. (If you buy it from Sainsbury’s, however, the butcher will tell you that he’s not allowed to help, because of the cross-contamination risk, in which case, just bring it home, get a sharp knife, and cut as close to the bone as possible, starting at the chubby end, cutting the meat back all the way round as you go, like you’re peeling off a sock).

Finely chop 6 cloves of garlic, 4 chillis (red or green) and 50g coriander stalks.  Mix them with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the juice of a lemon, 1 teaspoon ground coriander and a teaspoonful of salt.

Stab a few slits into the lamb, then massage the marinade into it.  Leave for two hours or longer.

When you’re ready to cook, sear the lamb for 2-3 minutes each side on the BBQ, then pop it onto a roasting tin (not your favourite, most expensive one), put it back on the barbecue, cover with the BBQ lid, then set the timer for thirty minutes.  Turn the meat a couple of times during cooking.

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Vegetables

Meanwhile, make your vegetables.  Fry 6 diced peppers in 6 tablespoons of olive oil with 6 whole cloves of garlic on a very low heat.  After ten minutes, add two sliced courgettes and some salt, then cook gently for another ten minutes before turning the heat up and letting it frazzle a little.  Set aside.

Couscous

Put 200g couscous into a bowl with 300g boiling water.  Cover with a plate and leave for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, fluff it up with a fork and add a tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of a lemon, a teaspoonful of Maldon sea salt, half a teaspoon each of cumin and ground coriander, a chopped red onion and two handfuls of chopped fresh herbs (coriander, mint and parsley).  Add some of the oil from the peppers and stir well.  Tumble some of the peppers and courgettes over the couscous.

Back to the meat

When the meat is done, put it in tinfoil and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes.  In this time, make some tsatsiki and hummous. (https://salutationrecipes.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/salsa-tsatsiki-and-hummous/).

In the last moments, roll out your pittas and grill for a few moments each side on your still-warm barbecue.  Now, sit back and enjoy the loveliest kebabs ever.  Oh, don’t forget to leave some coriander to sprinkle on top!

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Lamb Kebabs with Homemade Pitta Breads

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Everywhere I go, I seem to be bumping into Paul Hollywood.  Not literally, of course.  But I know the answer before I even ask the question these days.  ‘Whose bread recipe is this, Andrea?’, ‘Where did you get your pitta bread recipe, Karine?’, ‘Who’s in the Sunday supplement this week, Mum?’  Answer:  Paul Hollywood!

Start by making the pitta breads, using the link to the recipe below:

Pitta Breads (Paul Hollywood’s recipe):  http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pitta_bread_97296

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Kebabs (for 4)

Whoosh up an onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon dried mint.

Marinate 600g diced lamb in the sludgy mush for at least an hour.

Barbecue hot for about 5 minutes until slightly charred, then sprinkle with sea salt and pop into your pittas with hummous or tsatsiki (both recipes were in my second post), red onion and fresh coriander.

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Kebabs adapted from Nigel Slater’s recipe:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2001/jul/15/foodanddrink.recipes2

Fragrant Lamb Curry

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I can’t believe that this is the third lamb curry on the blog.  I must broaden my tastes.  The cinnamon and cardamom make it a bit more fragrant than the other two curries.  Serve with some of Geeta’s pickle and boiled basmati rice.

1.  Put 3″ peeled, sliced ginger into the mini-processor with 6 cloves of garlic and 3 green chillis, and pulse until chopped finely.

2.  Grind a tablespoon of coriander seeds with a pestle and mortar.

3.  You need a 1.5 kg boneless shoulder of lamb joint.  Unroll it and cut off and dice all of the lean meat.  You really don’t want any fat in this at all as it is quite rich.

4.  Warm 5 tablespoons oil in a large, lidded frying pan and add about 300g of finely chopped shallots.  Fry and stir for about 5 minutes until golden brown.

5.  Stir in the ginger mixture and fry for 2 minutes.

6.  Add the meat, turn up the heat and stir for about 5 minutes until browned, then add half a teaspoon of turmeric, a teaspoonful of cayenne pepper and the coriander seeds.  Stir in for about a minute more.

7.  Add 250ml water and cook, lid off, for 10 minutes.

8.  Add half a tin of tomatoes, 400ml water, 3 whole cardamom pods, half a cinnamon stick and 2 teaspoons of sea salt, then put the lid on and simmer for 10 minutes.

9.  Add 3 – 4 potatoes, in large chunks, and 500ml water and simmer, lid on, for a further 25 minutes.

10.  Now, put this to one side for as long as you like.  This resting period makes all the difference, so give it at least an hour for the flavours to develop.

11.  Put on your basmati rice (normally ten minutes’ cooking time), then start to warm up your curry again.  Let it bubble vigorously with the lid off.  If you like your meat a little charred, remove it with a slotted spoon into a sizzling pan and brown thoroughly before returning to your sauce.  Add half a teaspoon of garam masala to the mixture, then sprinkle with plenty of fresh coriander.