After doing a lot of eating out and watching Masterchef in recent months – both in the name of work – I have realised how nice it is to eat really simple food. Foams, gravels and deconstructed this and that are all very clever and tricksy but they’re not exactly heartwarming to eat, are they?
This, on the other hand, is like going back in time to when you got home from school and asked what was for dinner and your mother said, “something-out-of-my-head-and-don’t-take-the-lid-off-the-crockpot”. In other words, it’s slow-cooked lamb shoulder chops. Really easy. Really delicious.
|… complete with no-frills photography to enhance the experience|
Simple lamb shoulder stew
Don’t even think about adding anything fancy to this, unless it’s a can of drained and rinsed white beans about halfway through the cooking time.
4 good lamb shoulder chops
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
4 ribs celery, de-stringed and roughly chopped
1 tin whole peeled tomatoes
1 cup kalamata olives
salt and pepper
Heat a spoonful of oil in a heavy, ovenproof, cast iron casserole pot until hot. Brown the chops, one at a time, until well-coloured on both sides. Remove to a plate.
Wipe out most of the fat, then add another slosh of olive oil and saute the garlic, onions, celery and carrots for five minutes, until starting to colour. Tip in the tomatoes and olives, plus half a tomato tin’s worth of water. Stir well, then lay the browned chops on top.
Grind over lots of salt and pepper and bring to a simmer, then put the lid on and transfer to an oven preheated to 160C. Cook for at least 1 1/2 – 2 hours. The meat should be tender and falling off the bones. Serves 3-4, with crusty bread or rice and something green on the side.