MIDDLE EAST MONDAY: SLOW COOKED SPICED LAMB + EGGPLANT STEW
Oh I love me some lamb in the winter time.
It’s nourishing, filling, satisfying and makes my body feel ‘cared for’ in the colder months. My body does not work on a full vegetarian diet. Depending on the season I can sometimes go MONTHS without meat, but at a certain point I will get a clear signal that it’s time to eat meat again. That’s my body and I believe it’s heavily influenced from my culture and heritage.
Have you ever really looked at your heritage, body type, health and digestion to understand what really works best for you?
As I’ve mentioned before, Middle Eastern cuisine is heavily based on lamb. It’s the staple meat and they KNOW how to cook it right. Slow, soft, pull-apart deliciousness. I had a chat to my mum on the phone to get this recipe right and she basically said I just had to trust myself and keep an eye on it. Let it happen slowly… My mum is such an intuitive cook that it’s hard to get directions off her because she just ‘feels’ her way through each recipe.
Here we have my take on a lamb stew that my mother makes often. I’m serving it with brown rice instead of basmati and I’m including a few additional veggies that don’t normally feature. You can change this up as much as you want too!
Lamb + Eggplant stew
What you’ll need:
- 600 – 800 grams of lamb shoulder on the bone – ask your butcher for the best cut and have it cut up into small chunks for you
- 5-6 whole organic tomatoes
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 large green capsicum
- 2 – 3 zucchinis
- 2 -3 brown onions
- 3 garlic cloves
- Allspice or Cumin, Sumac, Coriander – any spices you have that are middle eastern inspired are great!
- 1 tbls organic tomato paste (look for the ones that are 100% tomato and nothing else)
- Brown Rice
- 3 lge tbls of organic cultured butter or ghee
Just a side note here: I LOVE that I have a local butcher that serves grass-fed and pastured produce and that I can get what I need, know where it’s come from and have a little chat… it’s so divinely old school. If you can strike up a relationship with a good butcher it makes the world of difference.
What to do:
- First rub some spices into your lamb and let it come to room temperature
- Heat the butter/ghee and brown off the lamb in a large pot
- Next toss in the onions and garlic, and stir-through
- Blend up all the tomatoes in a thick, chunky mixture and chuck into the pot.
- Add in all the veggies – diced into a small chunks
- Mix everything together and season to taste – I am very liberal and unstructured with my seasoning so aim for at least 2 tsps of spice, if not more!
- Mix 2 cups of water with the tomato paste and pour into the pot. You can also use your own homemade veggie stock here too. You want to almost cover the veggies/lamb but not drown it.
- Bring it all to a nice simmer and then drop it down and keep it on the stove at a low-ish heat for at least 1.5hrs.
- Cook up your brown rice with sliced onions through it
- To serve: plonk your brown rice in a bowl with the stew on top – use a slotted spoon so you strain some excess liquid out. Served with a bowl of yoghurt on the side.
Eat and enjoy!
Saha to you,