Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Jamie Oliver's Moroccan Lamb Stew

This is a great recipe from Jimmy O, really pukka. The Moroccan spices are perfect for this wintry weather and it also uses a fairly cheap but tender cut of meat - neck of lamb. I modified his original recipe, missing out the plaiting of the neck and adding in some chickpeas and yellow peppers for some extra veg. This recipe is enough for about 6 portions, so great for a big family meal or saving for leftovers.


• 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
• 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
• 3-4 small dried chillies
• a small bunch of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
• 2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• olive oil
• 3 large neck of lamb fillets
• 4 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2.5 cm/1 inch dice
• 2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
• 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
• 4 ripe plum tomatoes, each cut into 8 pieces
• 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
• 1 stick of cinnamon (or ground cinnamon)
• 2 bay leaves
• a handful of dried apricots
• 400 g tin chick peas
• 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced

For serving

• couscous - as much as you like
• 1 large bunch of fresh coriander
• natural yoghurt

Line up all the spices (you don't have to do this, but it's fun to look at them. Ok, maybe it isn't).

Bosh up the spices, chillies, rosemary, ginger, garlic and some salt and pepper in a pestle and mortar. Add some olive oil to loosen up the mixture.

Get your necks of lamb and cut into suitable portion sizes (I found that about half a neck was enough for one portion, although the more observant reader will see that there are seven pieces here, well one of the sheep had a very long neck).

Put half of the spice paste into a bowl with the lamb, then rub the spices well into the meat.

With the other half of the spices, do the same with the prepared vegetables.

In a hot frying pan, brown the lamb fillets all over. Transfer to a large roasting tin.

Fry the vegetables in the spice paste for about 5 minutes then add them to the roasting tin, along with the tinned and fresh tomatoes, bay leaves, apricots and cinnamon stick (or ground cinnamon). I mixed it around and then placed the lamb on the top, so that it would brown in the oven.

Now bang the roasting dish in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes at 190C (170C in a fan oven). After 45 minutes, take the dish out, add the chick peas and mix in with the stew. Arrange the sliced orange peppers on the top of the dish, and turn over the lamb.

Serve with couscous, fresh coriander and yoghurt.

We lived off the leftovers of this for the next two nights and it got tastier! Nice one Jamie.

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