I love cooking in winter. It’s the perfect time of the year for comfort food, spicy curries and one-pot wonders. Everybody knows that curries are better left in the freezer for a bit and it’s a great opportunity to bulk cook and give yourself the odd night off. Being as I’ve just started a Masters in Gastronomic Tourism, those nights could become rather more frequent, so you’ll see a few more one-pot wonders and quick easies over what could well be the next 5 years.
First up is my favourite Middle-Eastern dish. The aromatic spices are gorgeous with the tart sweetness of the cranberries, and the harissa gives it the heat you want on a cold night. Mind you don’t overdo it though – start with a little less until you’re familiar with the heat level.
SPICED LAMB PILAF
1 tablespoon olive oil
250 grams lamb fillet, chopped
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cinnamon quill
1 teaspoon harissa paste or other chilli paste
1/2 cup medium grain rice
1 ½ cups unsalted chicken stock
1 tomato, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped coriander, plus sprigs to serve
1 tablespoon craisins or cranberries
1 tablespoon roasted pine nuts
Thick greek yoghurt and pomegranate seeds, to serve.
Heat half of the olive oil in a frying pan over high heat and cook the lamb in batches until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add remaining oil to frypan and cook the onion, stirring for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, cumin, allspice, cinnamon and harissa and stir to combine. Stir in the rice, stock and tomato. Return the meat to the pan and season. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.
Stir in coriander, craisins or cranberries and pine nuts. Serve topped with yoghurt, coriander sprigs and pomegranate seeds.