LAMB AND ORZO STEW
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.
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.