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Stew is the only thing I seem to be making these days, but it’s just so easy and quick that it’s hard to resist. I decided to switch things up a bit last week and use a tomato base with my lamb instead of gravy. I had half a bag of chops from the foreign mart that needed using. I made my life even simpler by cooking in the rice cooker. I quickly prepared all my ingredients put it on to cook, got ready for work and then switched it to warm. When I cam home there was the most amazing smell and lamb was soft and tender and falling off the bone. If you do not have a slow cooker then using your rice cooker to make yourself some soups and stews is one of the easiest things you can do. I flash fried all my meat and vegetables before putting them in, but you could just put them in raw to make things even quicker. The couscous I served is incredibly easy and looks gorgeous. Pomegranates are in season and ridiculously cheap, so be sure to pick up a few.

Ingredients 

500g of Lamb

1 onion

4 cloves of garlic

1/2 a courgette

2 aubergines

2 red peppers

1/2 a can of chickpeas

4 tablespoons of barley (optional)

1 litre of tomato juice

500ml of orange juice

500ml of water or stock (optional)

3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

1-2 tablespoons of red Thai curry paste

2 tablespoons of cumin

1 tablespoon of coriander

1 tablespoon of cajun seasoning

1 teaspoon of paprika (or cayenne pepper if you like it hot)

Salt and pepper to taste

Couscous

1 cup of couscous

1 cup of water

1 chicken stock cube

1 pomegranate

25g of cashews or pistachios

25g of raisins

1 roasted red pepper

A small bunch  of coriander

Directions

1. Chop the onions and garlic into medium sized pieces and fry off in a small amount of oil for a minute or too and then put them in you rice cooker pot. In the same pan, brown your lamb by cooking on each side for a minute or two and adding to the same pot at the onions and garlic. Finally chop your peppers, aubergine and courgette into bite sized chunks and cook in the frying pan  for a minute then add to the lamb.

2. Add the tomato juice, orange juice,  and water, to the pot along with the Worcestershire sauce, spices and barley  and switch to cook mode. I only have two setting on my cooker, cook and warm. Leave it on the cook mode for about an hour, it will boil away furiously. After an hour, check on the liquid and give it a stir, you may want to add another 500ml of  tomato juice at this point. Also check your spices and seasoning, you may want to add more. Then flip the switch to warm for at least 3 hours. When you come home your meat should be lovely and tender and your sauce thick and tasty. If it’s still not quite to your liking you can still re-season and cook it a little longer if you wish.

3. The couscous is really each to make, you just need water and couscous in equal amounts, so just use the same container for both. Put the couscous in a bowl and the water in a saucepan along with the stock cube. Bring to the boil and then pour the water over the couscous, cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes run a fork over the couscous to make it fluffy. Chop the roasted pepper and mix in along with raisins, nuts and pomegranate. Finely chop the cilantro and add that in too. Then serve this delicious Moroccan delight, for a cold Winter’s night.

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