Lamb ragu and biryani

So, you voted for the lamb ragu dish and here I am cooking it (and looking more than a little bit pregnant)! I like to top this with a rosemary and garlic pangritata* for added textural interest.

*(blitz up 50g stale breadcrumbs, 1 clove of garlic crushed, a couple of tbsp. each of fresh parsley and rosemary and 5-6 tbsp olive oil, before crisping in a frying pan – you can also store this in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days).

After making this film I was left with even more leftover lamb and decided to put it to use in a biryani. Biryani is very much a “special occasion” project, so this is a great thing to put together on a lazy Sunday, leaving you something special to look forward to in the week ahead.

2 tbsp. oil
8 cloves
2 black (if you can get them) cardamom pods and 2 green ones. (otherwise just use 4 green ones)
3 cinnamon sticks
4 thinly sliced onions
2 tbsp. crushed garlic
2 tbsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. curry powder
3 tbsp. each of finely chopped fresh coriander and mint leaves
380g leftover lamb (if you don’t have much leftover, throw in some lentils to pad things out)
1 carton chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
4 green chillies, sliced
1 pint of lamb stock
4-5 tbsp. natural yoghurt
big squeeze of lemon juice
a couple of onions sliced into rings and fried to a crisp
cooked basmati rice
optional – 300ml milk warmed with a pinch of saffron
  • heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, onions, garlic, ginger and curry powder.
  • cook over a low heat until the onions are nice and brown (this should take at least 15-20 minutes). Add the lamb (and lentils if using), mint, coriander leaves, tomatoes, red wine vinegar, a good pinch of salt, and the chillies. Stir well and then pour in the stock, yoghurt and lemon juice. Cook for about 30-40 minutes, until the sauce is nice and thick.
  • Layer some rice in the bottom of a large dish with a tight fitting lid. Add a layer of the lamb and then a layer of onion rings. Continue until you’re left with a layer of rice on top. Pour over the warm milk if using, cover well with plenty of foil to make it airtight and bake for 30 minutes at 180C.

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