A deliciously warming lamb casserole with chilli to give it plenty of a kick and a dash of spiciness. The lamb is marinated in herbs and wine to make it special. This recipe uses shoulder of lamb which has been boned (you can buy it ready boned from the supermarket or you could ask your butcher to do it for you) Long, slow cooking is the secret to a deliciously tender lamb casserole – it should simply melt in the mouth. Use any inexpensive red wine for the marinade. Adding potatoes gives a complete meal in a pot.
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 stick celery, chopped
- Grated zest 1 small orange
- 750ml red wine
- 1 kg shoulder of lamb, boned and cut into 2cm cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
- 2 tsp mixed herbs
- 500ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tsp tomato purée
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 800g can potatoes, drained
Put all the marinade ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half. Remove the rosemary and bay leaves from the marinade and discard. Pour the marinade into a large bowl and set aside to cool.
When the marinade has cooled, add the lamb and cover the bowl with cling film. Place in the fridge for about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 160⁰C/325⁰C/140⁰Fan/Gas Mark 3.
Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish or deep sauté pan, over a medium heat.
Remove the lamb from the marinade and add to the hot oil. Reserve the marinade to add to the casserole later.
Fry the lamb for about 5 minutes until evenly browned, then lift out and drain.
Add the onions, carrots and garlic and fry for about 3 minutes.
Add the lamb to the pan and then add the tomatoes, herbs, stock, tomato purée, chilli and reserved marinade. Stir well and season with the salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Bring to the boil then cover and place in the oven for about 3 hours. Check the casserole every now and again and add extra stock if necessary.
About 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time put the cornflour into a small bowl. Add a little cold water and mix to a paste. Take a few tablespoons of the hot gravy from the casserole and add to the paste, stirring well. Pour the mixture into the casserole and stir in very well. This will help to thicken the casserole.
Add the potatoes and return the casserole to the oven for a further 30 minutes.
You could use fresh potatoes instead of canned potatoes – simply add small new potatoes or cut old potatoes into quarters and add to the casserole about an hour before the end of the cooking time.