Friday, 15 August 2014

Lamb Stew with Eggplant & Peppers

One of the things that set off the post on how to store produce was a rookie error I made this week - I sliced up tomatoes for a meal, and did far more than had any chance of being eaten! Since eggplants and peppers are starting to arrive in the kitchen as well, it seemed like a good time to make a stew. Especially since the weather has been feeling more like October than August! I hope the rest of our tomatoes are going to ripen!

This was simple, filling, and tasty. Nothing fancy, but just the thing for a chilly summer day.

4 servings
1 hour 45 minutes - 45 minutes prep time

Lamb Stew with Eggplant & Peppers

2 medium onions
2 medium green or red sweet peppers
1 head garlic
2 medium (450 grams; 1 pound) eggplants
2 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
2 to 3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
1 cup lamb broth, beef broth, or water
450 grams (1 pound) lean ground lamb
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon hot smoked Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro or parsley

Peel and chop the onions. Core and chop the peppers, into bite-sized pieces. Peel and mince the garlic. Wash and trim the eggplants, and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Wash and chop the tomatoes if using fresh tomatoes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and toss to coat, then cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes until fairly evenly browned and soft. Transfer it to a large stewing pan, and add the chopped tomatoes and the broth or water. Bring to a simmer. 

Heat the remaining oil in the skillet, and add the onions and peppers. Crumble in the lamb, and sprinkle the seasonings over it. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions and peppers are softened and the lamb has lost all signs of pinkness. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Transfer the lamb and vegetables to the pot of eggplant and tomatoes, and simmer gently for about 1 hour, stirring regularly. Taste, and adjust the seasonings.

Serve the stew with crusty bread or rice, garnished with the cilantro or parsley. This can be made a day ahead and reheated to serve.

Last year at this time I made Cream of Corn Soup and Cheesy Zucchini Bake.

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