During my week in Blackrock, I learned many new and helpful culinary techniques, but there is one recipe I always come back to. It is an easy, slow cook, weekend kind of recipe and it is very suitable as a main dish if you're entertaining. It is also highly spiced but not all that hot, so I always feel quite confident to serve it to a mixed crowd - spice fans and spice avoiders included. So here goes; a lovely, fragrant taste of India.
- 500 g of lamb cut into large cubes
- 3 tbsp. sunflower oil
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- A small (cm-ish) piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 50 ground almonds
- A few tbsp. cold water
- 6 whole cardamon pods
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
- Spice mixture - 2 tsp of a mixture such as coriander, cumin, garam masala, turmeric
- 125 ml single cream
- 80 ml chicken stock
- Rice, to serve
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 F/gas mark 4.
- Put the garlic, ginger, ground almonds and water into a bowl and mix very well to form a paste.
- Heat your sunflower oil in a casserole dish/ovenproof saucepan on the hob on a high heat and add in the cubed lamb in batches so that each layer browns evenly. Season the meat with pepper and salt.
- Remove the browned lamb cubes and put the cardamon, cloves and cinnamon into the hot oil. Almost instantly, you'll get that super fragrant smell and you can tip in your onion.
- Stir and cook until the onions turn a brownish colour. Then add in the paste on a medium heat and cook gently, before putting back in your lamb with its juices, the cream and the stock.
- Put the lid on your dish and pop it straight into the oven to cook through for at least 1 hour 15 minutes.
- Remove and serve up immediately with your choice of rice and/or naan breads or poppadums on the side.
Here, I have served the lamb with some par-boiled mangetouts, gently stir-fried in minced garlic and spices and a mixed white/wild rice
*Wine note - I am biased towards red, but this works a treat with a punchy red such as a Spanish Crianza or an Argentinian Malbec.
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