Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten
australiaphen375.com

Lamb Casserole With Spices And Rhubarb

Serves 4

What an international wonder! British lamb and rhubarb, Greek yoghurt and eastern spices.

When I first mentioned this to Sally, my wife, she said: ‘Rhubarb in a lamb casserole? You must be joking.’ Or something like that! But here it is, a brilliant, warming but light hot pot, which also tastes great cold the following day.

Roll on summer.

6 tablespoons rapeseed (canola) oil or ordinary olive oil
225g/8oz lamb fillet, cubed
1 onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed then finely sliced
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 level tablespoon chilli flakes
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1.2 litres/2 pints vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
a good sprig of mint leaves, finely chopped
400g/14oz young rhubarb
25g/.75 oz unsalted butter
125ml/4fl oz thick Greek (absolutely not Greek-style) yoghurt
1 large handful flat-leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper
250g/9oz long grain rice

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok. Brown the lamb briefly and spoon into a casserole dish.

Gently sauté the onion in the rest of the oil until soft.
Add the garlic, cumin powder and turmeric and continue cooking, stirring continuously, for two minutes.

Add the chilli flakes, vinegar, stock and bay leaf.

Pour into the casserole dish with the lamb and simmer for one hour.

When that’s nearly ready, add the finely chopped mint and cook for another 10 minutes.

Cut the rhubarb into 2.5cm/1in pieces. Add to the pot and allow to cook gently for another 15-20 minutes.

Remove all the solids with a large perforated ladle, bring the liquid to a boil and reduce by about a quarter.

Add the butter and stir briskly.

Remove from the heat, add the parsley, yoghurt and stir again.

Now return all the solid ingredients to the pot and on the gentlest heat possible warm through without overheating or boiling which would make the yoghurt separate.

Serve with the rice scattered with chopped parsley.

 

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