Thursday, 19 June 2014

Moroccan Lamb and Aubergine Stew

I bought some Asian aubergines when I was last at the Chinese supermarket, with a view to making some Fish-Fragrant Pork and Aubergine Pot (魚香茄子煲), but it never really happened. Most of the minced pork went into a Steamed Pork with Salted Eggs (咸蛋蒸猪肉) dish, and then I kind of lost momentum.

I've been trying to make more use of the slow-cooker lately, and this dish worked nicely. I find that sometimes stews come out too watery, but there was no need to thicken or reduce the liquid content this time - perhaps it was the addition of pearl barley. When I switched the slow cooker on, the liquid level only came up to about half-way the height of the ingredients.

The children were suspicious, but when told it was based upon their favourite Moroccan Lamb and Couscous, they gave it a go and cleaned their plates - the middle and the toddler are suckers for chick peas. It was a little more heat than they are used to, so of course they had to cool down with ice cream afterwards!

 

Ingredients

  • 400g diced lamb
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 aubergine, cut into 2cm dice
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (keep some seeds in if you like heat)
  • 150g mushrooms, wiped with a damp cloth and cut in half
  • 150g dried chick peas, soaked in plenty of water overnight (or use a tin of chick peas)
  • 3 tbsp pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1 tin of peeled plum tomatoes
  • Plenty of olive oil
  • 400ml lamb stock
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Spice Mix
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
Serves 6-8

 

Instructions

  • Heat a pan on the hob to a moderate heat and add the cumin and coriander seeds. Stir in the pan for 30 seconds or so, until the seeds begin to brown and the aromas are released, then remove from the heat. When the seeds are cool enough to handle, crush them to powder using a pestle and mortar
  • Add the ground ginger, cinnamon and mixed herbs to the powdered cumin and coriander, and stir to mix
  • Place the onion, aubergine, pepper, lamb, mushrooms, chilli and garlic in a large bowl. Add the spice mix, plenty of olive oil (I would say 4-5 big lugs of it - the aubergines and mushrooms will soak it up) and black pepper. Mix well to combine, cover and leave for at least 30 minutes to infuse the flavours.

Lamb, vegetable and spice mix

(I left this in the fridge overnight, then just put it in the slow cooker with the other ingredients in the morning, and had a tasty tea ready by 4pm)
  • Drain the chick peas, then place in a pan with cold water, bring to the boil and boil for 15 minutes
  • Place the lamb and vegetable mix into the slow cooker, and add the chick peas, rinsed pearl barley, tinned tomatoes and lamb stock. Stir to combine, making sure that the meat is not exposed at the top (it dries out), then replace the lid and cook on low for 8 hours
  • When the stew is ready, add salt and pepper to your taste
  • Serve with couscous or rice

Moroccan Lamb and Aubergine Stew


Moroccan Lamb and Aubergine Stew

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