Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Weather Outside is Frightful

Ok, so that's the beginning of a Christmas song, but it's quite appropriate for the weather in general lately.  We're at the beginning of March, and even though it's technically autumn, we usually have lovely late summer weather here in Dunedin. But not for us in the past couple of weeks!  It's been cold, rainy and windy, so I've spent quite a few weekend days inside cleaning, making cakes and doing a bit of work for the shop.  Cosy inside days warrant cosy comforting dinners, and one of the yummiest things I made was Moroccan-ish lamb stew with mashed kumara..delicious!

I say Moroccan-ish because I didn't follow any recipe, instead I just used the knowledge I've absorbed from watching the Food Channel at every opportunity!  If I'm spending a day inside I'll have the TV on that channel rather than have music playing. I really do feel like I've learnt lots from watching all those cooking shows. I've written the "recipe" below, but I kind of just threw in what I felt like, so by all means mix it up! If you like some spices more than others then feel free to add them to your own taste. As long as you get your seasonings right and cook it so the meat is tender, you can't really mess this up*.

*Disclaimer - you might mess it up, in which case you probably haven't been watching enough Food TV.

Wintry Warming Lamb Stew (serves 2-3)

1. Brown 3 lamb chops in a large pot. Make sure the pot is on medium high heat. 
2. Add one chopped onion, 3 finely chopped cloves of garlic, and a half teaspoon each of cumin, coriander and turmeric.  Add chilli powder to your own taste. I added a quarter of a teaspoon, but also added a whole dried chilli to the mix, which I took out before serving.

3. Cook until the meat is caramelised on the outside and the onions are softened.

4. Turn down the heat to low and add a tin of tomatoes, half a tin of water or stock, and two tablespoons of tomato paste.  Stir everything together, add some pepper and leave to simmer, stirring every 15 minutes or so.  Cook until the sauce is thickened and the meat is very tender.  If the sauce is too thick before the meat is cooked, you can always just add more water or stock and just keep cooking it down. Add salt at the very end to your own taste.

I served this with mashed kumara and steamed courgettes and peas from our garden, and it was so delicious, and extremely comforting at the end of a cold wet day! 

If you want your whole meal to be in one pot you can add a tin of drained chickpeas or cubed potatoes at step 4.  If you want to add greens try stirring in some frozen peas or baby spinach just before serving, so they are heated through but still lovely and green.  Enjoy :)

P.S. There isn't an end photo because I was hungry and forgot to take one....

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