My food shopping bills have gone through the roof lately, as I’m sure yours have, too. So I’m on a mission to save a few quid by making meals stretch further.
To this end, a friend lent me Jamie Oliver’s new and quite magnificent book ‘Money Saving Meals’ (well, it was cheaper than shelling out £22 to buy it myself)
The principle of the book is simple: reduce food waste by getting creative with leftovers. Now, I’m already on board with that philosophy and regularly use or freeze leftover meat from the Sunday roast. But I do need inspiration to make it more exciting – which is where Jamie’s book comes in.
In each chapter he has a primary ingredient – which he calls the ‘mothership’ – from which he makes a family meal. Then he advises on how to cook up stunnign dishes with whatever’s leftover. Even if you rarely have anything leftover from your family lunches, I think it’s worthwhile investing in an extra large cut or joint of meat so that you DO end up with leftovers.
In fact, for a couple of recipes I tried this week, I bought a half shoulder of pork for the sole intention of making both. But more of those another time.
The ‘mothership’ star of today’s recipe is leg of lamb. I roasted it in the traditional way (with garlic, rosemary, lemon) last Sunday and was left with 250g of juicy meat with which to make this fantastic flavourful Lamb Biryani. (This is not an exact duplicate of Jamie’s recipe as I was working from memory – but it was delicious nonetheless).
Serves 4 (or 2, with enough leftover for next day’s lunch)
400g cooked basmati rice
1 onion, finely chopped
2 x thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
2 tbsp curry powder (I used mild, but use whichever strength suits your tastebuds)
1 tbsp plain flour
500ml lamb stock
2 tbsp mango chutney
Splash of red wine vinegar (I didn’t have any, so used a splash of red wine instead)
250g leftover lamb meat, chopped
1. Add the olive oil to a large frying pan and gently cook the garlic, ginger, onions and chilli until soft, approx 8-10 mins.
2. Add the curry powder and stir through for 1 min. Add the flour and stir through, then cook for 2 mins to cook out the rawness.
3. Increase the heat and gradually add the lamb stock. Bring to the boil and cook for 20 mins, until the sauce has reduced slightly.
4. Stir in the mango chutney, the vinegar, then the lamb. Stir to combine.
5. Strain the lamb stew through a sieve into a small saucepan to give you a rich thick gravy. Reserve the gravy for step 8.
6. In a deep baking dish, add a layer of half the cooked rice, followed by a layer of the lamb stew. Add another layer using the rest of the rice. Cover the dish with foil.
7. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4 and cook the biryani for 30 mins until piping hot.
8. Heat the gravy on the hob. Plate up the biryani and drizzle over the gravy. Serve with fresh coriander and yogurt, if desired.