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Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Creamy and spicy lamb stew that was once the idea for a curry

Last week Tesco had shoulder of lamb on a half price special offer so I treated myself to a whole shoulder costing around £14 and boned it out and removed the major fattier aspects of what was a predominantly lean shoulder. Starting today, Tesco counters also have leg of lamb at half price so if you dear readers are inspired by my creamy spicy lamb stew both the leg and shoulder are equally good to use.

Cut shoulder of lamb - blade side and knuckle
Cut leg of lamb - fillet and shank.
Right, so. Here we go folks. The initial idea was to make a lamb curry but then I got distracted by shopping for the vegetables and the finished dish, along with some fragrant herbs ended up more like a fragrant stew sweetened with Greek yoghurt.

Like in my spicy and potent lamb tagines I made a paste by finely chopping a whole bulb of fresh garlic, three or four red peppers (de-seeded), and the crunchy stalks from a big bunch of flat leaved parsley as I couldn't get coriander on the day. I added in half a dozen pods worth of little black cardamom seeds and a table spoon of ghostly ground fenugreek. All these were crushed in a pestle and mortar in a couple of unctous table spoons of  Filippo Berio olive oil.

All the vegetables had been prepared and the lamb shoulder boned and cut up before I started to cook. With the paste ready to warm through in a large cooking pot I got it to a state of sexy pungency and dropped in the shoulder of lamb pieces one by one, constantly stirring and mixing up the lamb and paste mix. Once it had really started to cook through the aroma was heavenly.

Unlike the Moroccan lamb tagines I have made in the past there wasn't any extra bulk of veg to add in and the concentration was on the lamb cooking. This took about three quarters of an hour to get the lamb to a state of edible bliss. Somewhere along the latter part of the way I tossed in the chopped onions and thinly sliced ginger which soon melted into the stew dish. I also added three or four de-seeded on the vine tomatoes that were going a bit furry on my windowsill (minus the furry bits of course), a few left over field mushrooms and the verdant leaves from the flat leaved parsley.

Turning down the gas to lowest level without it going out (especially tricky in the daylight as you can hardly see the blue flames on my cooker rings) I added nearly a full pot of 0% fat Greek style yoghurt. I purchased this on a last minute mercy run to the local Co-Op store as the dish started to evolve in my kitchen.

As usual I had made far too much for one person and most of the fragrant creamy lamb stew has been secreted away in the freezer in individual freezer cartons. Tonight, I ate the remaining fresh stew and enjoyed it with some steamed spinach and new potatoes. See picture at the bottom of this blog post.

It may not have turned out like the original idea of making a rogan josh style lamb curry but the contents of the freezer trays are flexible enough to add to any commercial curry sauce should I choose to in the future.

Tonight's meal.

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