Lamb & aubergine stew with crispy chickpea topping
- Preparation and cooking time
- Serves 6
A gutsy, lamb casserole laced with North African spices and topped with a crunchy crust of feta cheese and store cupboard pulses
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 red onions , chopped
- 600g lamb leg or shoulder, cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 4 garlic cloves , crushed
- 1 aubergine , diced
- 1 red pepper , diced
- 1 orange pepper , diced
- 1 tbsp ras-el-hanout (or use 1 tsp each of cumin, coriander and cinnamon)
- 1 tbsp harissa
- 400g can chopped tomato
- good pinch sugar
- 1 beef or lamb stock cube
- small handful coriander , chopped
- small handful mint , chopped
- 2 x 400g cans chickpeas
- 1 tsp cumin seed drained and rinsed
- 200g pack feta cheese , crumbled
- STEP 1
Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in flameproof casserole dish. Add the onions and cook until softened. Season the lamb and toss in the flour. Push the onion to the edge of the pan, add the lamb, then cook for a few mins on each side until nicely browned.
- STEP 2
Add the garlic, aubergine, peppers, ras el hanout and harissa. Cook for a few mins until the spices are aromatic. Add the tomatoes, sugar, 400ml water (fill the tomato can and swish it around to get all the bits out) and crumble in the stock cube. Bring to a simmer, cover, then cook over a low heat for 2 hrs.
- STEP 3
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Add the herbs to the lamb stew and tip into a daking dish. Tip the chickpeas into a bowl with the cumin seeds, remaining oil and some seasoning. Leaving about half the chickpeas whole, lightly crush remainder with a fork or potato masher. Add half the feta and mix through. Scatter over the stew, top with remaining feta, then bake for 45 mins until the topping is really crispy and the stew is hot. See tips on freezing, below left.
HOW TO FREEZE YOUR LAMB STEW
Cook the stew to the end of Step 2, cool, then transfer to a plastic container and freeze for up to three months. Defrost, then continue from Step 3.