LAMB AND PUMPKIN CASSEROLE
Lamb shoulder chops lend themselves well to long slow cooking and this casserole of lamb and pumpkin is a fabulously easy meal resulting in meltingly tender lamb chops in a tasty slightly sweet (thanks to the pumpkin) spiced gravy. Make it all in a stove top in an oven proof casserole to save on the washing up – alternatively do the first part in a frypan and then pop it all into a casserole dish in the oven. I fed 4 strapping young men with this the other day, combined with some couscous it was an economical and satisfying meal for them. Substitute the pumpkin for potato or other root vegetable if you wish and serve with couscous to absorb all the lovely gravy.
8 lamb shoulder chops
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 x 2 cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 tsp turmeric
½ tsp cinnamon or one cinnamon stick
1 tsp crushed chilli paste, or ½ tsp chilli flakes (adjust to your taste)
1 ½ cups pumpkin cubes
½ tsp salt
Good grind of black pepper
400 g can chopped tomatoes
200 ml chicken stock
Fresh parsley to garnish
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
Brown the lamb chops in a little oil until just golden on the outside. Transfer to a casserole dish. Cook the onions in the same oil until slightly softened. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and chilli and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, stock and pumpkin and combine with the lamb chops.
Cover and bake for 1.5 – 2 hours or until the lamb is very tender. Depending on your taste you may like to slightly thicken the gravy now. Remove the lamb chops and make a paste with 1 tbsp cornflour in a little water. Stir into the gravy to thicken it slightly, check for seasonings and add a little more salt and pepper if you like then return the chops to the gravy.
Steam some couscous and a green vegetable, sprinkle the casserole with the parsley and serve.