Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Leftover Lamb Biryani (in the style of Jamie Oliver #savewithjamie...but tweaked Egg and Chips stylie)

Right, there I was one balmy June Monday evening punching away on the treadmill at the gym. On comes a brand new series on channel 4, #savewithjamie. I wanted to give up on the cardio, but was compelled to watch the whole programme. Love a Jamie Oliver series, right back to The Naked Chef days (the original and best in my eyes) to 15 minute meals, he's always done a damn good cooking programme. The type that inspires, excites and influences your decision on what to eat that week!

What's this I see?...left over lamb? I'm always at a loss of what to do with it, shepherds pie or curry....curry or shepherds pie?!!!!! Now I like those two things but I enjoy roast lamb far too much to only have a two dish cooking option for a left over meal. This was all about to change!!!! 

I like the fact he describes making this dish layering (literally) and layering (flavours), like you would a lasagne or moussaka. I can prepare this dish well in advance getting all the components ready to go. Everything is in one dish (a big plus), even though I may've used every utensil/pot and pan in the kitchen when making. But that's okay, as when baking in oven with eager anticipation I can load dishwasher and clean the surfaces. I've never attempted a biryani before, I've always been intimidated by I the likes of Madha Jaffrey's two page recipes, and that's just the ingredients list! 

I can post this recipe as I've made it mine by altering a few elements and adding some needed (in my opinion) flavours. After all, be bold, use recipes as a guideline and tweak where necessary. Keep tasting, just have the confidence to add what it needs. 

Serves 4
Left over lamb from a roast (I tend to use leg but shoulder would work), cut into chunks 
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped finely
1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
A small bunch of fresh coriander, stalks finely chopped and leaves roughly chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 tbsp curry paste of your choice (I used korma here)
2 tsp medium curry powder
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp mango chutney
1tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 lamb/chicken stock 
A squeeze of tomato purée 
4 discs of frozen spinach 
A splash of water
300g basmati rice
Salt and pepper
Pilau rice seasoning, a few shakes (I used Schwartz)
Cardamom seeds, a small handful
Flaked almonds, a small handful

Preheat oven to 200 degrees c

Remove meat from bone and cut into rough chunks. Place bones into about a pint of water and boil to make stock. All those lovely flavours from roast will go into stock. Simmer for an hour till reduced slightly and set aside.
Boil rice according to packet instructions, when cooked al dente wash over a colander under running cold water and set aside.
Now get two pans and add olive oil, onion, ginger, garlic and chilli, pepper to both pans, cook down to soften slightly. In first pan add your frozen spinach and a splash of water, cook down for 10 mins. Season and set aside.
For main curry - in other pan add curry paste, chopped coriander stalks, curry powder, flour, mango chutney and lamb. Coat meat well in flavours in a medium heat. Add stock and tomato purée and red wine vinegar. Simmer gently for 20 mins for flavours to marry. 
Using a well buttered oven dish start layering the biryani. Half the rice first, season well and sprinkle pilau seasoning and cardamom seeds. Then the spinach mix. Then the lamb (without the sauce, strain through a sieve and set aside). Now the last layer of rice and a final seasoning, sprinkling of pilau rice seasoning and a good handful of flaked almonds. Cover dish in foil and place in oven for 40 mins. Serve with curry sauce/gravy on the side, a dollop of yoghurt or raita and fresh coriander. Enjoy this. You'll want to do it again and again! 


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