Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Lamb and Green Bean Pilaf

Lamb and Green Bean Pilaf

One of my favourite aspects of a Sunday roast has become thinking up ways to use up the leftovers. This thought process often drives my choice of meat rather than the other way around. This is such a delicious way of using up lamb, with a comforting blanket of fragrant, subtly spiced rice, crunchy green beans and a vibrant yoghurt and mint sauce.

You could go fancy-pants with this, with saffron infused rosewater sprinkled over the pilaf near the end of cooking, or a trendy scattering of pomegranate seeds over the finished dish. Alternatively, you could use stronger flavoured spices or a curry blend. It would also work well with leftover roast chicken if you are not a lover of lamb. There are options with the sauce too; dill or parsley (or indeed nothing) instead of coriander, some crushed garlic or finely chopped cucumber, or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the top. Go crazy...

Lamb and Green Bean Pilaf

·         A mug full of Basmati rice
·         Olive oil
·         A knob of butter
·         1 Onion, finely chopped
·         1 fat clove of garlic
·         Left over Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb, finely shredded, fat removed
·         1 vegetable stock cube
·         1 bay leaf
·         Four cardamom pods
·         A generous pinch each of cinnamon, allspice and cumin
·         A handful of green beans
·         Water

Yoghurt Mint Sauce

·         Greek yoghurt – a couple of big dollops
·         A small bunch of mint, finely chopped
·         A few leaves of coriander, finely chopped
·         A pinch of sugar
·         Salt and pepper

1. Measure the rice into a mug and add enough water to cover. Set aside for 20 minutes or so.

2.    Make the mint yoghurt sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together. Set aside for the flavours to mingle.

3.    In a lidded non-stick pan melt the butter in the oil over a low heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and sweat down with the lid on for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.    Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, until everything is turning golden.

5.    Add the lamb and spices, bay and stock cube and cook briefly with the onions and garlic.

6.    Tip the rice into a sieve and drain under the tap. Add to the pan with a mug full of water.

7.    Give everything a brief stir, then cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered for 8 minutes, topping the water up if necessary.

8.    Spread the green beans out over the top of the rice, re-cover the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes.

9.    Serve the pilaf with some of the yoghurt mint sauce on top.

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