Monday, March 1, 2010

spiced lamb ragout

The berger brought round some lamb for us the other day, all neatly bagged (in brand-new poly bags) and labelled: épaule, côtelettes, côtes baronnes, ragout. It was a million miles away from Mini-B's rustic presentation, when he delivers his goat meat wrapped in a bit of old bed sheet, probably off his own bed, which I doubt he sleeps in very much given the number of times he crashes on our sofa or in the field behind the salle des fêtes. That guy can sleep anywhere. Last summer a few of us spent the night in a hunting cabin way up in the mountains and as we all set about bedding down - unfurling camping mats and sleeping bags and plumping up pillows sultan's divan-style - Mini-B just curled up under the table on the concrete floor and went to sleep like a dog.

I'm off to Paris tomorrow for a couple of days to sort out accommodation so I leave you with this very tasty recipe for spiced lamb ragout which uses relatively inexpensive neck of lamb. It's even better reheated the following day.

Serves 4
2 lb (900 g) neck of lamb
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 heaped tablespoon flour
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 dried red chilli
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
12 oz (350 g) potatoes, larger ones cut in half
1 tin tomatoes (without the juice)
salt and freshly milled black pepper

Smash up the coriander seeds and chilli and mix with the oregano and rosemary. Roll the lamb pieces in this mixture. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish and brown the meat a few pieces at a time then remove from the pan. Fry the onions in the fat left in the pan for about 10 minutes until softened and browned round the edges, add the garlic.

Next stir in the flour and gradually pour in 1 pint (570 ml) boiling water then return the pieces of meat to the casserole and season. As soon as it comes back to simmering point, put the lid on and transfer the casserole to the oven and cook for about an hour at 275°F/140°C. After an hour add the potatoes and tinned tomatoes and return to the oven for another hour.


holly x said...

i'm making this as soon as i buy some coriander seeds... and neck of lamb- and actually most of the ingredients! looks amazing!
good luck in paris!

Janet said...

Good Luck sorting out your accommodation in Paris. I'm sure you'll feel better once things are settled.
Lamb is a meat I use for curries and middle eastern cooking. Your recipe looks good, I'm going to try it. I don't recall seeing neck of lamb in the food stores, I may need to hit a local market to find it.

Hils said...

Loved the lamb!I would never eat a goat though! You put me off! Don`t like to think of the state of Mini B`s bedlinen!
Enjoy Paris!