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Monday, March 3, 2014

Chickpeas, Bulgur and Lamb Ragout... ( Middle East) inspired way of serving lamb shoulder

This is a great dish and is "Full of Eastern promise"..serves 6

1 pound cooked chickpeas ( if using canned, wash well and drain)
1pound lamb shoulder/stewing meat, fat trimmed, well washed and dried
sea salt & ground black pepper to taste
2 cups chopped onion
2tbsp butter
2tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup minced cilantro
3 cups+ good beef or chicken stock
1 cup large grained bulgur wheat

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint ( or 2tsp dried)

plain live yogurt to serve

In a saucepan with a tight fitting lid, add the meat, onions, ground spices, and slowly heat until fat releases from the meat, the onions begin to turn golden, and the spices "bloom"..release their aromas.
Cover the meat with hot stock, bring to boil and cover tightly and simmer on medium high for 1 hour.
Add salt & pepper to taste, and the cooked chickpeas , continue to simmer.

Melt the butter in a skillet, and very gently brown the bulgur wheat.
Add the browned bulgur to the lamb and continue to cook, now on medium simmer, lidded for 30 mins.
Check doneness of bulgur..it should be tender.
Check seasonings.

Add mint and cilantro.
Serve on warmed plates/bowls topped with live plain yogurt.

Serve with a crisp cucumber-tomato salad 

This may also be made with any stewing meat,besides lamb.
You may also add
raisins; soaked almonds; chopped dried apricots; Hardy greens ( kale, collards, field spinach in last 30 mins of cooking)
This is also great, served topped with caramelized onions similar to a Biryani.

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