LAMB AND ORZO STEW

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Prep: 25 mins Cook: 2 hours Serves 6

1tbsp veg­etable oil 1kg diced lamb (leg or shoul­der), ex­cess fat trimmed 2 red onions, finely sliced 1tbsp dried oregano 1tsp ground cin­na­mon 400g tin chopped toma­toes 1.2ltr veg­etable stock 200g orzo pasta 50g pit­ted black olives, roughly chopped Large hand­ful fresh pars­ley, roughly chopped

1 Heat the oil in a large heat­proof casse­role dish or pan, and brown the lamb pieces (do this in batches to avoid the meat sweat­ing). Once all the meat is browned, lift out and set aside.

2 Re­turn the dish to the heat and add the onions. Cook gen­tly for 10 mins un­til soft­ened (add a lit­tle wa­ter if the pan looks too dry). Stir in the oregano and cin­na­mon. Cook for 1 min, then stir in the toma­toes, stock and browned lamb. Cover and sim­mer for 1¼ hrs, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, or un­til the lamb is ten­der.

3 Stir the orzo into the dish and cook, un­cov­ered, for a fur­ther 10-12 mins or un­til the orzo is ten­der. Stir in the olives and most of the pars­ley. Check the sea­son­ing and gar­nish with the re­main­ing pars­ley. Serve im­me­di­ately.

FREEZE AHEAD

Pre­pare to end of step two, up to three months ahead, then leave to cool com­pletely. Trans­fer mix­ture to a freezer-proof con­tainer, cover and freeze. To serve, de­frost overnight in the fridge. Re­heat gen­tly in a pan and com­plete the recipe.

COOK’S TIP Once the orzo is ten­der, it will con­tinue to swell on stand­ing. If you’re not serv­ing it im­me­di­ately, add a lit­tle ex­tra wa­ter un­til the de­sired con­sis­tency is reached.

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