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Aromatic Middle Eastern Lamb With Chickpeas & Polenta

This superb flavourful and nourishing dish is created by removing the pre-cooked meat from the bone before completing the dish.

750 g lamb shoulder chops, excess fat trimmed and reserved
1 cup (250 ml) water
1 tsp (5 ml) beef stock powder

Sauce
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) chopped or crushed garlic (1 clove)
1 x 400g tin Mexican tomato sauce
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
½ tsp (2 ml) cumin seeds (optional)
1 tsp (5 ml) turmeric
good pinch dried origanum
2 bay leaves
150 g canned and drained chickpeas ( ½ tin)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
a little cornflour if necessary
fresh rosemary, parsley or coriander to garnish

  1. Place the trimmed fat into a small saucepan and cook gently for 5 – 8 minutes, stirring to cook out a little fat to use for frying of the meat and making the sauce.
  2. Place the meat into an oven roasting pot and brown on all sides – adding a little of the fat if necessary. Add the water and stock powder, cover and cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until the meat is tender enough to be removed from the bone.
  3. Remove the meat, cool a short while, remove the bones and cut the meat into bite size portions.  Add the onion and garlic to the pan drippings and cook until tender.
  4. Pour off any excess fat and return the meat and all the remaining ingredients to the oven roasting pot.
  5. Cover and cook about 30 minutes more until done to taste.
  6. If necessary thicken the gravy with a little cornflour mixed with water.

6 servings.

Notes

  • Serve this dish with cooked polenta or prepared couscous and steamed green vegetables such as green beans or broccoli.
  • When available venison works as well with this recipe. To fry the meat use a little butter or olive oil for the venison does not have enough fat.
  • To turn the same dish into a Spanish version, add 1 tsp (5 ml) paprika, 500 ml shredded spinach and a few stoned olives at step 4 and serve with rice.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.