Debbie found a recipe on the Slimming World website for Moroccan Lamb. It read as if it had been written down by someone who had only ever had cooking explained to them as a concept but had never actually experienced it. After cooking I realised it had been devised by someone who had never actually eaten. The idea was to cover the lamb steak in a paprika and grated onion marinade and then after cooking serve a chick pea purée (which was essentially a hummus without tahini or olive oil) and some roasted veg. Leaving aside the fact that they called for roasted peppers, aubergine, courgettes and that well known Moroccan vegetable celeriac, I was a little curious that their definition of roasting involved no oil and is what I would call baking. I didn’t enjoy cooking it and to be honest I think it showed.
Yesterday I made a spag bol. I had intended to make Alex Rushmer’s lovely looking beef cheek ragu but I forgot to take the meat out of the freezer in time to slow cook it so had to make do with a tiny packet of frozen mince. Although not as disastrous as the previous night it wasn’t my best dish and served only to stop us from going hungry.
Tonight though I am making S’pie.
When I met Debbie I was a vegetarian and has been for the previous twenty two years. I had never cooked meat and had no real idea how to. Debbie taught me her shepherd’s pie. Remembering what I had seen the other kids served in school I assumed it was just mince in gravy topped with mash. Debbie however put a couple of secret ingredients in hers: HP Sauce and baked beans. The HP Sauce did add something to it but I found that it also upset my stomach so over the years I have adapted the recipe until I have come up with one of the few things I cook that I can honestly call my own. The other nice thing about this is that it should easy fit in with an Orange day and might even scrape though as a Green day.
This is a long cook so I usually freeze several servings. The quantities here should make enough for four/six.
2 Onions, sliced
2 Anchovy fillets, chopped
1 Stalk of Celery, diced
1kg carrots, diced (I say 1 kg: basically you want about double the weight of the meat)
1 Lamb neck fillet trimmed of excess fat and sinew
1 Tin Baked Beans
1 table spoon Tamarind Concentrate
500ml Lamb Stock
Sauté the onions until caramelised. Add the celery and carrots and cook until softened. Stir in the anchovy. Season the lamb and brown then add to the onion mix. Deglaze the pan you browned the lamb in with the stock and add to the mix. Add the beans and tamarind. Slow cook for several hours. Once cooked, using a fork and spoon, shred the lamb (as they do with duck in Chinese restaurants) and stir through the sauce. Top with mashed potato and pop under the grill to brown.
Of course the problem here is how to make the mash. I am sure there is a law somewhere that says it has to be made with butter but I will leave you to guess whether I added any.