With aubergine and mushroom stew
Compared to last weekend this new recipe turned out to be an absolute treat. I was so right in choosing to marinate the lamb with plain yoghurt, allspice, garlic and bay leaves. The flavour of the meat was magnificent, the first time to use that as an adjective on here! As for the tenderness I’m pleased to say that even after reheating this (after grabbing some shots) the meat was melt in the mouth. Okay, the kebab itself isn’t exactly photogenic as I chargrilled two peppers/capsicum last night as I’ve just figured out how to use my oven grill/broiler to its best effectiveness. Two shelves down works beautifully to get the peppers absolutely blackened and blistered. Believe me the extra effort pays off as their flavour is so much better than just skewering chunks of raw pepper – unless slightly crispy is preferable. If that’s the case I’d use green. As I researched this a couple of weeks ago but couldn’t get the right cut (it has to be from the leg) the only recipe I found using yoghurt and allspice is this fabulous recipe Middle Eastern Lamb Kebabs, which gave me the confidence to try it. As it was only the second time for me to use allspice I really wanted to keep this as clean as possible (as the allspice is already complex in flavour) which is how I’ll be cooking this again. Especially to go with the flavoursome aubergine and mushroom stew. As for the rice I went with long grain with chopped dried apricots, flaked almonds toasted in rendered lamb fat (I certainly wasn’t going to throw that fat in the bin) and a spoonful of fresh yoghurt. I’d like to try using freshly toasted and ground coriander to sprinkle over the rice just before serving and possibly pistachios as well. Next time! Oh, and the rice is a bit fuzzy in the photo as the kebab was steaming hot. Anyway, this would be really good to serve for a late lunch or sups with friends as apart from the rice most of this can be prepared and cooked the night before. Leaving only the lamb to be skewered and grilled (it only takes 10 – 15 minutes to cook), the rice cooked fresh with any additions scattered in at the end.
The photo above is with potato gratin, my next post. Oddly, the flavours played well on the plate with a little Dijon mustard, garlic, cream and stock. Prefer the aubergine and mushroom stew, have to admit.
- 125g (4.40 oz) x lamb leg steak (suitable for grilling), rinsed, any fat, sinew or gristle cut out (fat can be rendered), meat cut into small cubes about 2 cm or 1 inch – more meat for bigger meat eaters (if more meat is used I would add additional allspice sparingly as it’s very strong in flavour)
- ¼ x tsp ground allspice (it’s very potent as spices go!)
- about 6 x dst low fat natural yoghurt
- 3 x medium garlic cloves, root end cut off and discarded, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 x dried bay leaves, broken into large pieces
- 2 x peppers/capsicum (I’ve used one red and one orange), washed, cut into chunks if crispy grilled pepper is preferred. Otherwise see instructions below on hot to chargrill them
- metal or wooden skewers (the latter have to be soaked in cold water for 30 minutes before use)
- lemon wedges to serve, for the aubergine and mushroom stew
- long grain rice, cooked to pack’s instructions
- flaked almonds, if adding to the rice
- 2 x dried apricots per person, chopped into small chunks
- extra natural yoghurt, if using with the rice
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- After preparing the meat and cutting it into small cubes I added the pieces to a non reactive container and sprinkled over the allspice. This was stirred thoroughly to coat the meat as evenly as possible. If a more subtle taste is required I’d suggest following the linked recipe as they’ve added the allspice to the yoghurt instead. Add the sliced garlic and broken bay leaves, add a lid and place in the fridge overnight. Take out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before needed and soak wooden skewers in cold water, if using, for the same amount of time.
- If the peppers/capsicum are to be chargrilled, after washing them keep them whole and place on a suitable ovenproof tray. Preheat the grill/broiler to 200°C, 400°F or Gas 6. Place on the second shelf down (I’m using an electric oven/grill) and as they blacken turn them over slightly to get them evenly blackened and blistered. Once they are done simply allow them to cool. Then peel off the skin carefully, keeping any juice (without seeds) for the stew. Set aside until needed.
- If not using chargrilled peppers then wash, deseed and cut a green pepper into chunks.
- If cooking rice then do cook that using the guidelines on the pack. I never use salt, and never stir the rice until it’s partially cooked. That way it won’t be as sticky. If using flaked almonds I put a heavy-based pan on electric heat No 2 (out of 6) and added a rind of fat that came off the lamb leg steak. Use oil if not using lamb fat. Simply allow the almonds to settle and turn them over once during cooking time. If using dried apricots then chop those into small chunks and add them to the rice minutes before the rice needs to be drained.
- Preheat the grill/broiler to 200°C, 400°F or Gas 6. Skewer the cubes of lamb unto skewers, alternating with the peppers. Don’t overcrowd the meat. Place under the grill on the second shelf down and set timer for 5 minutes each side. Carefully lift out tray, place the rack to the high position, return the lamb kebabs and grill for a further 1 or 2 minutes each side to help crisp them up a little bit. If, however, rare lamb kebabs are needed place the rack to the highest point and only grill for 3 – 5 minutes each side.
- For the aubergine and mushroom stew please click here.
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