Post-Christmas Comfort Dish: Lamb or Aubergine Stew

Hey all, and a very welcome back to my blog! I want to begin by wishing you a belated Merry Christmas – I hope you have all been having a lovely, laid back, wholesome time with family and friends so far. Most of all… I hope you have been enjoying the food! I certainly have been.

Sinead used to babysit me btw

It has been a crazy busy few months for me with all of my learning, hence my lack of cooking posts. I have not lost interest in the therapy and benefits of cooking one bit; it’s just that while studying in as much detail as I am, including metabolism and the mechanisms of nutrients within our bodies, the time is taken up from actually having fun with food, and especially for photographing it and blogging about it. Therefore, I’ve made the decision to come back here only when I have enough time to invest into high-quality posts so that I don’t disappoint anybody!

One amazing thing about Christmas is the breathing space it allows, and today I definitely have been using it to relax and make some fun, delicious content for the blog. I am so lucky to have one of my food heroes involved in this post, Sinead Campbell, who in the past two years, has made it onto the Murphia List of Irish food talent in London, who also happens to be my cousin! Sinead runs a successful street food company (formerly BBQ Dreamz) and restaurant, Bong Bongs in Hackney, London (currently closed due to the pandemic), with her business partner Lee Johnson, who have both gone on to achieve some pretty incredible things such as win an episode of the Million Pound Menu which you can watch on Netflix. I can definitely vouch for how hard-working Sinead is, which is testament to how delicious her recipes are and how loved they are by their customers. Check out the Instagram page for Bong Bongs.

Today, Sinead and I are cooking delicious Lamb and Aubergine Stews for the family, which I will be sharing below. I am so excited to be involved in the process, learn a lot from Sinead, and pass on the excitement to you guys!

Vegans! For the mash, if you substitute the milk and butter for vegan alternatives, this is something different and delicious.

Sinead and Lee, owners of Bong Bongs and BBQ Dreamz

Disclaimer: All government COVID guidelines have been adhered to in the making of this post.

Lamb Stew

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

Leg of lamb on the bone, 1.7 kg

Tinned anchovies, 60 g (drained weight)

Garlic cloves, chopped, 6

Red wine, 500 mL

Lamb stock (or any meat alternative), 250 mL

Tinned chopped tomatoes, 1 (400 mL)

Dried rosemary, 4 sprigs

Carrots, chopped, 5

White onion, chopped, 1.5 large

Tomato purée, 1 tbsp

Capers, 1 tbsp

Aromat, 1.5 tsp

Mint sauce, 1.5 tbsp

Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking tip: Massage 1 tsp of bicarbonate soda, 2 tsp of cornflour and 2 tbsp of water into the lamb, to tenderise the meat better.

Lee’s Garlic Mash

INGREDIENTS:

Rooster potatoes, peeled, 7

Whole garlic cloves, peeled, 8

Butter, 1/4 block

Milk, 200 mL

Fresh parsley to garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prepare the veg by peeling and chopping the carrots, peeling the potatoes and adding them to a large saucepan half-full with cold water, peeling and dicing the onion, and chopping the garlic finely for the stew mix and peeling the garlic cloves for the mash.
  2. Into a large cooking tray, add the lamb on the bone after chopping it into quarters. Follow the above cooking tip, adding the bicarbonate soda, cornflour and water and massaging well.
  1. Sear the lamb on a well heated pan, drizzled with olive oil, for for 5 minutes on each side, or until the skin has darkened.
  2. Pierce the lamb multiple times, stuffing it with chopped garlic, rosemary and anchovies (30 g).
  3. Into a roasting tray, or a 5 L pressure cooker bowl, add the red wine, meat stock, chopped tomatoes, carrots, onion, anchovies (30 g), tomato purée, capers, the remainder of the garlic cloves, the lamb, aromat, mint sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
  1. If using a pressure cooker, cook for approx. 2 hrs or according to the instructions, if baking, set the the oven to 175 degrees Celsius and cook for approx. 3 hours. Checking after 2 hours.
  1. After peeling the potatoes, add them to a saucepan, half-filled with water. Add the garlic cloves, and place over a medium heat for approx. 25 minutes or until soft. Afterwards, mash well, and add the butter and milk, mashing further to a creamy consistency. Add parsley to garnish.

Aubergine Stew

Serves 4

Cooking tip: chop the courgette thicker than the aubergine as it quicker to cook!

INGREDIENTS:

Aubergines, large, 2

Courgette, large, 2

Mushrooms, 1 punnet

Garlic cloves, chopped, 6

Red wine, 500 mL

Veg stock (or any meat alternative), 500 mL

Tinned chopped tomatoes, 1 (400 mL)

Dried rosemary, 2 sprigs

Carrots, 5 chopped

Onion, 1.5 large, chopped, white

Mixed olives, 50 g

Capers, 1 tbsp

Aromat, 1.5 tsp

Tomato purée, 1 tbsp

Mint sauce, tbsp (optional)

Fresh parsley to garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

Lee’s Garlic Mash

INGREDIENTS:

Rooster potatoes, peeled, 7

Whole garlic cloves, peeled, 8

Butter, 1/4 block

Milk, 200 mL

Fresh parsley to garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prepare the veg by peeling and chopping the carrots, peeling the potatoes and adding them to a large saucepan of cold water, peeling and dicing the onion, mushrooms, chop the aubergines into small, rectangular shapes or dice, chop the courgette, and chop the garlic finely for the stew mix and peel the garlic cloves for the mash.
  2. Into a roasting tray, or a 5 L pressure cooker bowl, add the red wine, veg stock, chopped tomatoes, aubergine, courgette, rosemary, mushrooms, olives, capers, carrots, onion, anchovies (30 g), tomato purée, the remainder of the garlic cloves, the lamb, aromat, mint sauce (optional), salt and pepper to taste.
  1. After peeling the potatoes, add them to a saucepan, half-filled with water. Add the garlic cloves, and place over a medium heat for approx. 25 minutes or until soft. Afterwards, mash well, and add the butter and milk, mashing further to a creamy consistency. Add parsley to garnish.

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