- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 350 g onions, sliced
- 500 g boneless leg of lamb, well trimmed and cut into 5 cm cubes
- 150 g dried figs
- 1½ tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 2 star anise
- 350 g carrots, chopped
- 350 g zucchini, chopped
- chilli sauce to taste
- salt and pepper
- large handful of mixed fresh parsley and coriander, finely chopped
- Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish or large heavy–based saucepan over a moderate heat.
- Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute, stirring frequently, then add the onions and stir to coat with the oil.
- Turn the heat to low, put a piece of dampened baking paper on top of the onions and cover with a tight–fitting lid.
- Cook for 20 minutes, or until the onions are very tender and sweet.
- Add the lamb to the casserole dish.
- Pour in 1.
- 25 litres of water or enough to cover the lamb and onions.
- Increase the heat and bring to the boil, skimming to remove any foam.
- Reduce the heat to low.
- Add the figs, ginger, cinnamon and star anise.
- Cover and simmer for 1 hour, or until the meat is very tender.
- When the lamb is tender, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the casserole dish and set aside.
- Remove the spices and discard.
- Transfer half the liquid, onions and figs from the casserole dish to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- Stir this mixture back into the casserole to thicken the sauce.
- Alternatively, remove the lamb and discard the spices, then use a stick blender to purée some of the onions and figs in the casserole dish.
- Stir well.
- Return the lamb to the casserole dish and add the carrots.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the zucchini and continue simmering for 5 minutes, or until both vegetables are tender but still crisp.
- Taste the lamb stew and stir in the chilli sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and coriander, and serve immediately, with saffron rice on the side, if you like.
Preparation: about 20 minutes
Cooking: about 1 hour 40 minutes