I had Abigail over last night for The Sensorites episodes 3-6 and so I flicked through several cookbooks and found this in my Islands of Greece cookbook, by Rebecca Seal, that I got from Alberto a couple of years ago. It’s tasty and easy to do, although it does take a while – at least three hours – but as I had the day off that was no problem. It’s also surprisingly tasty, given that the only spice in it is a little allspice. Once again, it’s another reddish-brown dish though – I really must try and blog something that’s a different colour!
I accompanied it with some spinach, wilted in butter, which worked well with the main dish.
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
800g of stewing lamb in large pieces (the pieces I got from Sainsbury’s were stil on the bone, but that works well as the long cooking time means that it falls easily off the bone.)
2 onions, chopped
400g can of cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon of tomato purée
120ml of red wine
2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
½ a teaspoon of allspice
500ml of lamb stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 140.
In a large, flameproof casserole heat two tablespoons of the olive oil and brown the meat thoroughly, in batches if necessary. (I don’t have a flameproof casserole dish so I started it off in a large saucepan and then transferred to a lidded cassserole dish for the oven.)
Remove the meat from the pan, add a little more oil if required, reduce the heat, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes or so, until softened and lightly golden.
Whilst the onions are cooking, rub the chickpeas between your fingers to remove the skins.
Add the tomato purée to the pan and cook, stirring regularly, for two minutes. Then add the wine, bubbling it and using it to deglaze the pan.
After two minutes add the tomatoes, chickpeas, allspice, stock and browned meat to the pan and season well.
Pop the lid on and place in the oven. Cook for 2 – 2½ hours with the lid on, then remove the lid and cook for a further hour. This should reduce the liquid a bit and thicken the sauce.
Serve with seasonal greens (in this instance, wilted spinach) and either boiled new potatoes or crusty bread.