I developed this Lamb Rendang recipe because, in the spirit of spring, I treated the family to a Sunday dinner which consisted of a leg of lamb with the usual roasted vegetables etc, but I didn’t realise just how much meat was actually on it! There was loads of tender meat left over so I thought it’d be nice to use it in a slow cooked curry. One of my favourite ways to cook lamb is in a Lamb Dansac, but I wanted to make something new for a change so I went for a lamb rendang instead.
I like to plan what I’m making for dinner in the morning so that there’s plenty of time to let something defrost from the freezer while I’m at work throughout the day. The other day I spotted some lamb mince in the freezer and thought I’d make lamb burgers that night. However, by the time I got home I found I wasn’t in the mood for a burger and instead fancied something with a bit more of a kick.
A quick search on the internet for inspiration uncovered a recipe for making lamb koftas, spicy Middle Eastern sausage-shaped lamb meatballs that are served in pitta breads or flatbreads with salad or peppers.
I’ll be honest with you though, although the original recipe called for adding each individual spice to the mix (cloves of garlic, chilli, ground coriander and cumin, etc.) I cut that corner by using a good all-round Moroccan spice mix instead that was free-from onion and garlic, which shaved a considerable amount of time off the dish’s preparation work. I used a good quality Ras el Hanout that I bought from Amazon a while ago for making tagines and it worked very well in the lamb koftas.
Traditionally lamb koftas are cooked on long bamboo or metal skewers, but I just cooked them as loose sausages because I knew I was just going to be serving them tucked inside gluten-free flatbreads with some melted non-dairy mozzarella, roasted peppers and rocket.
Overall, these lamb koftas make for a quick and very tasty midweek dinner and you could also make them with beef or pork mince if you’d prefer.
500g of minced lamb
1 tbsp. of Moroccan spice mix (add more to taste, if required)
½ a tsp of salt
Gluten-free flatbreads or pitta breads
Dairy-free mozzarella and salad
Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4.
Mix together the minced lamb, Moroccan spice and the salt in a bowl. Divide the mix into eight and roll each portion into a sausage shape.
Place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.
Serve inside warm flatbreads with mozzarella and salad.
Yesterday morning, on what will probably be classified by meteorologists as the hottest day of the year so far, I decided to make a lamb dansac in my slow cooker. In my defence, I don’t think there’s ever a bad day to eat curry, even if the weather’s hotter than that found at Satan’s favourite holiday resort.
This is a really easy curry to make, requiring very little preparation for a hugely rewarding dinner. The slow-cooking process renders down the fat on the lamb which makes the curry sauce taste really rich and well-flavoured, but not oily in any way.
If you don’t already own one, I’d recommend buying a slow cooker to anyone who enjoys coming home to good, home cooked cheap, but tasty, dinners. I have a 6.5 litre Rachel Allen one (from when I used to cook for a family of five), but most people find that a 3.5 to 5 litre one suits the average family’s needs. You can pick up some really decent, but reasonably priced ones nowadays.
And, if you need another excuse to treat yourself to a slow cooker, winter’s on its way. Okay, that’s hopefully not for a good while yet, but think of the stews, soups and casseroles that would await you after a hard day’s work. Or a rich, tender slow-cooked lamb dansac.
100g green bell pepper (diced)
100g red bell pepper (diced)
1 tsp asafoetida powder
360g of tinned chopped tomatoes
320g of tinned coconut milk
2 vegetable stock cubes
2 heaped tsps of madras curry powder
1 pint of boiling water
350g lamb neck (cut into bite-sized pieces)
180g of tinned lentils (drained and well rinsed)
Prepare all of your ingredients as directed above.
Put everything in your slow cooker.
If necessary, top it up with a bit more water until all of your ingredients are just covered.
Put on a low heat and cook from morning until evening.
Taste and add more seasoning if required.
Serve your slow-cooked lamb dansac with pilau rice, naans or poppadums.