It’s #LetsLunch time again! The topic this month is stews, as our monthly host, Cheryl Tan, is currently shivering away in New York and needs some hearty food to help warm up. She could just come to Brisbane for a holiday!
I did suggest I would cook my stew on the BBQ, but we have had one day recently when it wasn’t 30+c and revoltingly humid, so I could actually turn the oven on long enough to cook a stew, without my body stewing at the same time! And without needing to blast the air con!
Given that it’s summer, I didn’t really have a lot of stewing meat in the freezer. A quick dig around found a packet of lamb neck chops that I decided would be perfect.
Lamb is my red meat of choice, especially as we buy it directly from an organic lamb farmer who delivers monthly from his farm in Longreach. If you live in Queensland and love lamb, check out Silverwood Organics. Yes, I know my regular readers and twitter followers are familiar with them – I rave about them often. The quality and flavour of their lamb is far superior to almost any I have bought in a supermarket or butcher, and because we buy in bulk, it’s very reasonably priced.
My lamb and harissa stew was really quick to make in terms of preparation time. It would be easy to bung it all in a slow cooker in the morning, then come home to a hearty, warming meal. Or, do as I do, and relocate the office to the dining table for the afternoon and sit in front of the oven while it’s cooking on a cool day. Not what I did last week in case you are wondering. It was cool, but not that cool!
Lamb and harissa stew
by Mel Kettle , The cook’s notebook
What you need:
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- olive oil
- 600g lamb neck chops
- 1 eggplant, roughly chopped
- 1 red capsicum (red pepper)
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
- 1 can of tomatoes
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 1 litre of lamb bone broth (I make this, but you can substitute with vegetable or chicken stock)
- 1 tbs harissa paste (or a little more to taste)
- 1 tbs smokey paprika (or regular if that’s all you have)
- 1 tbs cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh coriander to serve (optional)
What you do:
- Pre-heat the oven to 140c (285F)
- In a large ovenproof casserole dish (I use a Le Creuset) heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over a medium heat on the stove, then add the garlic and onion to fry for a couple of minutes. Then add the lamb and all the other ingredients, roughly in order listed.
- Bring to the boil, then pop the lid on and place in the oven. It takes about 4-5 hours to cook, but check every hour or two and give it a stir.
- Once cooked removed the lamb neck chops and let cool slightly. Remove all the bones (make sure you get the little bits) and then add the meat back to the pot. Stir the meat back in and reheat.
- Serve with couscous or sweet potato mash, or just as is.
This is even better a day or two after it’s made as the flavours then have a good chance to develop. I usually add a bit of extra water or stock when I have leftovers for lunch, so it’s more like a soup. It’s also good with a large handful of baby spinach leaves stirred through at the end until they have wilted.
What’s your favourite stew? And are you crazy enough to cook it in summer?
Let’s lunch posts:
This post is part of Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch), a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, everyone now takes it in turns, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world.
Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. Check out the others’ posts SOON, they will be right below.
Cheryl’s Sayur Lodeh (Malay Vegetable Stew) at Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
Betty-Ann’s Salmon Sinigang (Tamarind Stew with Vegetables) at Asian in America
Demetra’s Coconut-Shrimp Soup at Sweet Savant
Linda’s Chinese Soy-Braised Pork & Peanut Stew at Spicebox Travels
Lisa’s Chicken & Fennel Casserole at Monday Morning Cooking Club
Margaret’s Beef & Venison Stew at Tea and Scones
Rashda’s Morocco-inspired Meatball Stew at Hot Curries & Cold Beer
Sonja’s Slow-Cooked Lamb Ragu at Foodnutzz