We all crave comfort food and at times the need is so great nothing else will do. Since I have been making variations of rice dishes in the past few days I didn’t want to do anymore rice but wanted a light yet rich in taste and spicy one pot meal for dinner.
I also wanted to cook a savoury dish with red meat and use apples as an ingredient to enter the recipe competition for the best apple recipe hosted by Gourmandize Uk and Ireland and making a sweet preparation was not what I wanted at all.
Still taking a leaf from the sweet preparations from apple , I think cinnamon and apple go very well with each other. It’s these well paired fellas that can spice up even the most drab foods.
So I decided to get some lean lamb shanks and marinate them overnight in a hot Indian marinade.
I have tried to tone down the amount of spice here so as to cater to taste buds that don’t take kindly to overpowering spices and yes ”heat” in food shouldn’t mask the other subtle flavours should it? But if your palate is used to heat feel free to AMP you the volume 🙂 I have mentioned by how much the heat can go in the ingredient list to stay with acceptable levels of taste.
For the marinade:
- 1 green chilli hot (2 green chillies if you handle spice well)
- 1/2 a bunch of coriander
- salt to taste
- red chilli powder 1 heaped tsp (2 -3 heaped tsp if you can handle the heat!)
- freshly ground black pepper to dust onto the lamp chops
Wash and clean the lamb chops and marinate for atleast 2 hours, preferably overnight with salt,red chilli powder,black pepper freshly ground and a puree of half a bunch of coriander and one green chilli. Smear the chops well and cover the dish with plastic and leave in the fridge overnight for the flavours to really sink into the meat.
For the sauce
- 2 cinnamon rolls, the light brown tightly curled ones, not the thick bark variety – more on the difference between the two in a different blog post!
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 apple sweet
- half a juicy tomato
- half a bunch of coriander
- 1/2 red onion sliced lengthwise
- 2 bunches of spring onions finely chopped
- In a saucepan add 2 large tbsp of sunflower oil or vegetable oil, saute’ the finely chopped spring onions,red onion chopped lengthwise with the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and cloves till the red onion turns pink and reduces.
- Now add the half an apple chopped into bite sized chunks.
- Saute’ on a low flame for about 1 min and then add a puree of half a bunch or coriander,half a tomato and half an apple.
- Ensure you do not waste any of the purée and scoop out every last precious drop from the mixer by adding water and pour all of this into the saucepan,stir continuously and as it begins to bubble add the marinated lamb chops.
- The tomato in the puree and the apple in the puree and the bits in the saucepan should all work to now offset the otherwise hot spices – red chilli powder,black pepper and cloves.
- Cook on a low flame for 25-30 minutes or until the lamb chops are cooked well,add just enough water to ensure the sauce is not going dry as we want a thick rich gravy and open the lid in between and give the whole thing a stir to ensure it does not go dry or stick to the saucepan.
- You now have the most tender and well cooked lamb chops with a thick, well flavoured tasty green sauce.I loved biting into the bits of apple now then which had gone soft and yum during the process of cooking , what an absolute delight!
Serve with warm bread, better still smear some butter and top it off with some finely diced bits of garlic ,pop it in a pre-heated for about 5 minutes and it’s just so good to polish off that thick sauce after you have savoured the lamb ummm !
What I love about this dish is that the recipe is 100% original, it was deeply satisfying experimenting with flavours and reaching a successful outcome and because I cooked it for my birthday lunch for hubs n me it was rather special too. The powerful spice was beautifully balanced by the sweet apple and as they cooked with the meat they lent a unique richness of flavour. It is wonderful to see how we can marry polar opposites in flavours and create something unexpectedly delightful – an absolute pleasure for the taste buds.
Now all I need is a whole lot of luck to win the very coveted prize of a Kenwood Stand Mixer!
Well the contest is now done, though I didn’t win * sad face* am happy I made something yummy and original 🙂