August 9th, 2012
I had a couple of suppers from my Australian lamb and sandwiches for lunch, but I still had about 2 lbs of tender meat left on the bone. I wasn’t feeling much like shepherd’s pie and there was a tin of harissa calling to me from the back of the cupboard…
Lamb and Harissa with Broad Beans recipe (serves 4):
2 lb cubed lamb
1 large onion (chopped)
6 pieces of garlic (finely chopped)
2 sticks of celery (chopped)
2 carrots (chopped)
1 courgette (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
8 button mushrooms (chopped)
1 lb broad beans (pod weight)
the juice of a lemon
1 1/2 pints of lamb stock
2 – 4 teaspoons of harissa (to taste)
A few sprigs of rosemary, sage and thyme, ground in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of sea salt and 8 black peppercorns
about an inch squirt of anchovy paste
1 dessertspoonful of Spanish sherry vinegar (or to taste)
olive oil for cooking (as needed)
Using a large cast iron casserole with lid, fry the onions in olive oil until they go translucent. Next add the carrots, celery and garlic.
Stir the vegetables for a few minutes before adding the courgette, green pepper and mushrooms.
After a few more minutes mix in the cubed lamb
and follow that with the ground herbs.
Once the meat has a been mixed in, add the de-podded broad beans. Pour in the stock and lemon juice immediately and increase the heat to bring the liquid to simmering. I used stock made from the lamb leg bone and a chicken carcass, because I had one. Chicken, lamb or vegetable stock are good, but you might need a stock cube if you are not using a meat based stock.
I added the bay leaves and stirred in the anchovy paste before dolloping in the harissa. I like things quite hot, but used two teaspoonfuls of harissa paste to start with – use this to taste, you can’t take it out, but it’s easy to add a little bit more.
When the casserole is bubbling away nicely, cover with the lid and put it into a preheated oven at 100ºC for 2 hours. I checked and stirred it every 30 minutes or so, but I’m sure it could be left alone for the duration.
With 30 minutes to go I tasted the casserole and stirred in two more teaspoons of harissa. Just before serving I thought a dessertspoonful of sherry vinegar would give the dish a little extra zing… and it did!