MONDAY SUPPER: NORTH AFRICAN LAMB WITH CHILLI, GINGER & CHICKPEAS
I still have a lot of time for Jamie, though I got a bit tired of seeing his gurning face on the Sainsbury's adverts (he seems to have severed his relationship with the supermarket to concentrate on other projects), because I feel he truly believes in what he does, with passionate commitment. And his recipes remaining interesting, tasty and easy to construct.
This lamb stew is redolent of a tagine where ingredients are cooked slowly with spices to allow all the flavours to develop and deepen. The addition of chickpeas add some bulk, while the aubergine gives it a sweetness. I usually serve it with couscous, and a dollop of harissa on the side, but you could quite happily enjoy it sans couscous as it is quite filling. Just the thing for a gusty October day!
1 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
2 large firm aubergines, cut into cubes, sprinkled with salt and set aside
salt and pepper to taste
10 fresh plum tomatoes, peeled, or a 400g can of plum tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
grated nutmeg to taste
4 neck of lamb fillets, cut into 2 inch pieces
4 tbsps olive oil
4 medium fresh chillis, chopped (or less if you don't want the heat)
2 tbsps grated fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp vinegar
fresh flat-leaf parsley and coriander, chopped
Heat the oil in a heavy casserole (Le Creuset) and brown the lamb pieces. Add the spices, ginger, garlic and chilli and give everything a good stir. Then add the chickpeas and tomatoes. Check seasoning.
In a separate pan, fry the aubergine pieces until slightly brown and then add to the lamb. Add the tomatoes and vinegar and give the pan a good shake. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook for about an hour, by which time the tomatoes will have melted to a sauce and the aubergines will be sweet. Check seasoning.
Serve with couscou and garnished with parsley and coriander.