Parsi lamb with apri­cots Judi Rose’s Recipe

The Jewish Chronicle - - FEATURES/ -

South of Spain, the herby casseroles of Europe give way to the richly spiced tagines of Morocco and the khore­shthas of Per­sia which of­ten com­bine meat with fruit. Fur­ther east, th­ese trans­form into the com­plex cur­ries of In­dia and Ben­gal. Parsi cui­sine blends Mid­dle East­ern and In­dian flavours, of which this fra­grant, gen­tly swee­tand-sour dish of slow-cooked lamb and suc­cu­lent apri­cots is a de­li­cious ex­am­ple. Prepa­ra­tion time: 10 min­utes Cook­ing time: 1 hour 15 min­utes Serves 6-8. Re­frig­er­ate 2 days. Freeze 3 months.

PARSI LAMB AND APRI­COTS In­gre­di­ents 1 large Span­ish onion, chopped 3 tbsp sun­flower or veg­etable oil 3lb (1.3kg) bone­less shoul­der of lamb, cut in 1 inch (2.5cm) chunks 1 rounded teasp salt 2 cloves gar­lic, finely chopped 2 teasp grated fresh ginger, or 1 teasp pow­dered ginger 2 cin­na­mon sticks, or 2 teasp ground cin­na­mon 2 teasp ground co­rian­der 2 rounded teasp medium curry pow­der About 600ml (1 pint) hot wa­ter 150g (5oz) ready-to-eat dried apri­cots 1 teasp brown sugar 1 tbsp cider or wine vine­gar For gar­nish­ing: 55g (2oz) sliv­ered al­monds 2 teasp oil

finely Small hand­ful of co­rian­der leaves, roughly chopped (op­tional) Method

Heat the oil in a heavy sauté pan or enamel casse­role and cook the onion un­til it is limp and golden.

Add the meat (in two batches if nec­es­sary so as not to crowd the pan) and con­tinue to cook over high heat, stir­ring, un­til the meat is a gold­en­brown and the onions are an even deeper colour, about 10 min­utes.

Sprin­kle with the salt, then add the gar­lic, ginger, co­rian­der, curry pow­der and half of the cin­na­mon.

Cook, stir­ring, for a fur­ther 2 min­utes to re­lease their aro­mas.

Add enough hot wa­ter to just cover the meat. Bring to the boil, then re­duce the heat and sim­mer, cov­ered, for 45 min­utes, or un­til the meat is just ten­der.

Add the apri­cots, vine­gar, sugar and re­main­ing cin­na­mon. If the liq­uid in the casse­role has re­duced too far add a cup of boil­ing wa­ter.

Cover and sim­mer for an­other 15 min­utes un­til the meat is melt­ingly ten­der and the apri­cots plump and soft.

The liq­uid should re­duce to a rich, dense sauce rather than a broth. If it seems wa­tery at the end of the cook­ing time, lift out the meat with a slot­ted spoon and boil down the sauce for about 5 min­utes un­til the flavour has in­ten­si­fied, then re­turn the meat to the pan and re­heat be­fore serv­ing.

Check the sea­son­ing — it should be slightly sweet-and-sour.

Sauté the al­monds in the teasp of oil and a pinch of salt un­til golden and toasty for 2-3 min­utes — take care to watch them, as nuts burn eas­ily if left unat­tended. (If you pre­fer, you can toast the al­monds with­out any oil.)

To serve, sprin­kle the al­monds and co­rian­der over the lamb and serve at once with rice and a green veg­etable or salad.

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