Diced lamb and black garlic casserole
Black garlic is new to me, but it has kind of become my "go-to" addition to basically everything, as it adds a real depth of flavour that can't be replicated by any other spice. Specifically, I've been using black garlic fibre powder, which is a lighter (and cheaper!) way of imbibing a delicious flavour that tastes both caramelised and fermented at the same time. You don't have to worry about garlic breath either, because it doesn't have that element. I find the fibre powder perfect, but don't forget for a real treat, there is the pure black garlic powder (you won't need much of this!) or the black garlic cloves. Both can be used interchangeably for this recipe, but this time I used lashings of the black garlic fibre powder. I get my black garlic from @garliciousgrown and cannot recommend their products more highly.
I have made this casserole or stew many times. I sometimes will swap out diced shoulder for shanks depending on what I have available, both are equally delicious. Nigella Lawson recommends allowing 1 shank per person, then shredding the meat from the bones to make it go further. This is messy and you absolutely have to extract every bit of marrow from the bones, but always worth the effort. Six shanks would feed 10 using this method.
This casserole can be made up to 3 days ahead. Always cover and then refrigerate within 2 hours of making. You can also freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Always defrost overnight in the fridge before reheating. To reheat, take it out of the fridge, remove any fat from the surface and leave to come to room temperature, and preheat the oven to 170°C. Cook for around an hour and serve piping hot.
SERVES 8 -10
2 large onions, finely diced
2 tablespoons black garlic powder (fibre)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
250ml red wine
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
750gm -1kg diced lamb
2 tablespoons cornflour
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Combine the cornflour and black garlic fibre powder in a bowl, toss in the lamb and lightly coat.
Heat the oil and brown the floured lamb on the stovetop in batches. I do this in the casserole dish I'm using so the flavour remains. Remove the lamb and set aside.
Put the onions and (if you're using them, the black garlic cloves) in the same pan and cook for just a few minutes, or until the onion starts to soften.
Stir in the cumin seeds, ground allspice and cinnamon.
Turn the heat up to high, and then pour in the red wine. Let this bubble up again, making sure to scrape the bottom of the dish to lift any yummy crispy bits up. Add the 2 cans of tomatoes. Then fill each can with cold water from the tap and pour that in.
Stir in the salt and add the lamb back in, bring it again to a bubble, then place the lid on firmly and transfer to the oven.
Cook for 4 hours. Season to taste. I have been known to stir through another spoonful of black garlic fibre powder at this stage. Test it yourself, and season to personal preference. Top with chopped parsley to serve. Its ready now to serve to your guests, or you can let it cool, refrigerate and then freeze as required. Creamy mashed potatoes or else couscous would be an obvious accompaniment, or a chickpea and spinach salad is also nice. Whatever your preference, be sure to pile a plate high with lots of good, crusty, buttered bread.