Sunday, 14 August 2011

vegetable stew with lamb kofta balls

It's ok to feel a little bit delicate after a nice evening around the coals. Perhaps a head-ache is a compliment to the chef, a symptom of a fun evening (the same cannot be said of a pain in the belly). Kebabs, merguez and home-made burgers, eaten with friends as the sky grew dark. Some of the kofta mix was still sitting in the fridge so the 'cupboards are bare' ethos set me thinking. The mix is kind of middle eastern so needs a tagineish stew to go with it. Couscous is out since I overdose the family on it till the grumbles actually hurt my ears, so rice is the accompaniment. Suits me.

For the kofta:

  • 500g of lamb mince (ground lamb?)
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 clove of garlic, pureed with sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 small red pepper, very finely chopped
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • glug of olive oil
  • 1 small chilli, finely chopped
  • small handful of very finely chopped parsley

(leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours for the flavours to develop)
  1. form into balls about the size of gobstoppers and griddle or grill over coals until cooked through
For the stew:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 courgette, diced
  • 1 yellow, red or green pepper (I used yellow)
  • 1 large ripe tomato, diced
  • scant handful of puy (continental) lentils
  • 1 pint of chicken stock
  • 1 nob of butter
  • olive oil
  • handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1tsp of ground cumin
  • 1tsp of paprika (not smoked)
  • salt and pepper

  1. Gently fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil
  2. add the vegetables and sit on a low heat for 5 or 10 minutes
  3. add the spices, the lentils and the butter, stir until the lentils are well mixed in and glistening
  4. add the stock and simmer on a low heat for about 1/2 an hour, adding more liquid if necessary
  5. before topping with the meatballs, give the stew a vigorous stir to break up some of the lentils, thickening the sauce
  6. throw in the parsley
This meal was absolutely delicious - I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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