Friday, 15 May 2015

Lamb with Cumin, Quince and Tomato

The past few days has been quite cold and there is nothing more inviting or comforting on a cold day than a  slow cooked dish. I like to  put a casserole or braise in the oven and leave it to cook, the heat of the oven makes the kitchen nice and warm and if you have time and can be bothered make a bread and butter puddingroly poly pudding or a  rhubarb or fruit crisp/crumble for dessert, they can cook together in the oven.

With this  dish the fragrance of the cumin and garlic so inviting and the quince and fresh tomato add a nice souring agent to the sauce. It has a lot of garlic but seems to mellow out.  I make this quite often at this time of the year - quinces are in season and relatively inexpensive. I have also made it with frozen cooked quince but prefer the slight astringency of the fresh quince and tomatoes. Sometimes I leave the leg of lamb in one piece and carve it into thick slices, often I cut it into 6 -8 large chunks and serve a piece to each diner or dice the lamb if I need a more traditional casserole.

Lamb with Cumin, Quince and Tomato
1 leg of lamb, boned
6 -8 cloves garlic or less if you prefer, crushed
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, small dice or thinly sliced
1 - 2 tablespoons cumin powder
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground black pepper

6 tomatoes, diced or 1 large tin diced tomatoes
2 cups stock
2 quinces, peeled and sliced or grated

To serve
Chopped parsley/ coriander

Dice lamb, cut into 6 -8 large pieces or leave whole.

Brown the lamb. It can be cooked on the stovetop or in the oven or an electric frypan.

Reduce heat and add onion, garlic, cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add stock, bay leaf, chopped tomatoes, quince and a generous grind of black pepper. Cover and reduce heat. Cook slowly* for about 2 hours or longer if the leg of lamb was left whole.  Check from time to time and stir.  The stock/liquid needs to reduce to about half by the end of the cooking time.

*Adjust cooking time to suit cooking method. Oven 150 deg C or simmer in a large pan on the stovetop or an electric frypan. Can also be cooked in a crockpot, follow the instructions for casseroles or stews.

Check the sauce, it should be thick. If too dry add a little water or stock and if too liquid remove the lid, increase heat and reduce the sauce.

To serve
Carve the lamb, if left whole, into thick slices. Spoon sauce onto plate, place the lamb on top and spoon a little sauce over the top.
Garnish with chopped coriander or parsley.

Brown the lamb.


Reduce heat and add onion, garlic, cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

If left whole, the liquid will not cover the lamb. Spoon the sauce over the lamb and the top will become brown and have a slight crust.

If the leg of lamb is left whole the sauce should be thick, if you want more a casserole or stew add a little more liquid until it is the consistency that you like.

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