Set in Huntington, West Virginia, Jamie tries to turn the school lunch program away from processed and sugar-rich food into ‘home-cooked’ fresh cooked food. And what a struggle he had. He was met with passive and aggressive resistance at every point along the way. Some of this was obviously manufactured for the camera, but there was also a pervasive ignorance and head-in-the-sand mentality from many influential people in the Huntington community. Whether Jamie Oliver is successful long term remains to be seen.
But I digress. As part of the industry that is Jamie Oliver he publishes a bi-monthly magazine called Jamie. It’s damned good and I have cooked several of his recipes from this publication. You’ll find his homemade baked bean recipe on this site, a family favourite.
I bought some diced lamb from the local butcher and looked for something to make me and my boys. The photos of this dish in the magazine looked so delicious that I had to give it a go – and what’s more I actually had 90 per cent of the ingredients.
This recipe is adapted to suit what I had in the pantry. I also found, on the final taste test, that it was a little bitter so added some lumps of dark cane sugar to smooth the flavour. So, the ingredients are what I cooked, not what Jamie recommends.
Served 3 adults so increase ingredients accordingly.
- 4 garlic cloves
- thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
- dollop of olive oil
- 3-4 green cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 white onion chopped
- 700 g diced lamb
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tspn chilli powder (or more according to taste)
- 1 400g tin tomatoes
- 2 tbsp of dark brown cane sugar
- salt and pepper
In a mortar and pestle mash the garlic and ginger into a paste and set aside. Or, I reckon you could put both the ginger and garlic through a garlic crusher.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the cardamom, cinnamon and onion and fry gently until golden brown.
Add the lamb and fry, stirring occasionally until brown. You’ll find a lot of liquid comes out of the lamb – I reduced this until it was a thick gravy. Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for a further 10-15 minutes until the dish is dark and aromatic.
Add the coriander, chilli powder and cane sugar. The add the canned tomatoes chopping or mashing them in the pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid reduces and the tomato has turned a deep brown.
I served this with rotti bread and plain basmati rice. Everyone loved it and I’m sure it will be cooked many more times in our household.