- 1kg shoulder of lamb
- 2 onions, sliced
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 1 tbsp chopped oregano, or 1 tsp dried
Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 400g can chopped tomato
- 1.2l hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 400g orzo (see know-how below)
- freshly grated Parmesan, to serve
Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…
Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Cut the lamb into 4cm chunks, then spread over the base of a large, wide casserole dish. Add the onions, oregano, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon and olive oil, then stir well. Bake, uncovered, for 45 mins, stirring halfway.
Pour over the chopped tomatoes and stock, cover tightly, then return to the oven for 1½ hrs, until the lamb is very tender.
Remove the cinnamon sticks, then stir in the orzo. Cover again, then cook for a further 20 mins, stirring halfway through. The orzo should be cooked and the sauce thickened. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve with crusty bread.
Fancy a side dish?Olive, caper & feta salad: Tear 1 romaine lettuce into a large bowl. Scatter over 1 thinly sliced small red onion, ½ cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks, a good handful of kalamata olives and 2 tbsp capers. Whisk together 1 tbsp red wine vinegar with 3 tbsp olive oil, drizzle over, then top with 100g crumbled feta.
Know-how: OrzoThe Italian word orzo means barley. When cooked, it has a texture similar to risotto rice. Look for it in the specialist sections of supermarkets, or in Greek, Italian and Middle Eastern delis. It can go by a variety of other names including puntaletti and romarino. If you can’t find it, use another small pasta, like trofie.
Mary says...Relaxed, easy entertaining is always top of my list. Simply put the dish in the centre of the table for everyone to help themselves. Add some good crusty bread and side salad, and you have a real feast
To freezeFreeze at the end of step 2. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then return to the casserole and bring slowly to the boil. Add a little water if it looks dry. Stir in the orzo, cover and bake for 20 mins.