Slow-cooked spicy lamb & eggs with yoghurt-tahini sauce
This dish is a crashing together of two recipes from my favourite book – Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem. What I wanted to achieve was an amazing dish without leaving the house and getting any other ingredients. I pretty much succeeded although I did have to nip over the road to get Greek yoghurt. It was worth it. This recipe has a similar spicing to that of a dish I’ve cooked word-for-word from the book previously, lamb-stuffed aubergines but is slow cooked for 9 hours before being grilled with eggs and roasted tomatoes, in the style of a braised egg with lamb recipe also featured. Inspired by this egg recipe, I added extra sumac into the lamb spice mix. Other changes include the omission of tamarind, the inclusion of red wine and the addition of lovely eggs and sweet peppers.
I decided to slow cook the lamb over the course of a day in a slow cooker – because, being unemployed, I had the time! I set it going at 10am and we ate at 7pm – so it cooked for a good 9 hours. It was worth the wait. I did have to shut the kitchen door to avoid the amazing scent wafting out and enticing me into the kitchen though!
If you don’t have a slow cooker, slim down the quantity of wine/stock used and simmer the lamb in a deep covered saucepan for a couple of hours instead.
Paired with the yoghurt sauce (which is SO easy and SO yummy and HAS to be made as an accompaniment), some bulgar and my sesame carrot salad, this dish made the perfect springtime dinner.
You will need:
For the lamb:
1.5 white onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbspn ground cinnamon
1.5 tbspn smoked paprika
2 tbspn sumac
0.5 tbspn chilli flakes
1 tbspn ground cumin
1.5 sweet peppers, chopped
1400g organic lamb mince
2 tbspn toasted pine nuts
0.5 tbspn sugar
1.5 tbspn tomato puree
200ml red wine
300ml lamb or chicken stock
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped, plus extra to garnish
3 or 4 fresh free range eggs
4 cherry or santini tomatoes, dry roasted and charred in a pan over a high heat (optional)
olive oil, to fry
For the yoghurt-tahini sauce:
25g tahini paste
100g Greek yoghurt
The juice of 1/2 an orange (I liked this as a twist – lemon is the traditional juice used)
Drizzle of sesame oil
1 – Preheat your slow cooker according to instructions
2 – Start by heating some oil in a large frying pan; add the onions, then garlic and cook until lightly browned
3 – Stir in the spices and cook for another minute or so before tipping in the lamb mince; fry this until it’s well browned
4 – Now stir in the sugar, tomato puree, parsley and peppers; mix well before transferring to the slow cooker
5 – Tip the stock and wine into the lamb mix, stir and leave to tick away on a low heat for up to 10 hours until the lamb is super tender
6 – When you’re ready to serve the lamb, check to make sure that the liquid has absorbed – you may want to give it a quick reduce over a higher heat in a frying pan if it’s still a little liquidy, which may happen if you reduce the cooking time
7 – Meanwhile, preheat the grill on a medium-high heat and start making your sauce; mix together all of the ingredients for the sauce (except the oil), plus a little water to loosen it to the desired drippy consistency
8 – Season the sauce, to taste, and add a drizzle of sesame oil on top
9 – When the lamb is ready, transfer it to an oven-proof dish and crack the eggs on top, plus the tomatoes if using; place under the grill until the whites of the eggs are just cooked and the yolk runny
10 – Serve the lamb immediately, with a handful of extra parsley on top and the sauce on the side; enjoy!!