Persian Lamb Pot
250g lamb gigot chops (with bones) or fillet, trimmed of fat and sliced (with bones is better for the flavour)
220g onions (ideally a massive Spanish onion as it saves peeling time!)
2 medium potatoes, ideally a floury type, scrubbed and sliced into rings
1 medium quince/tart eating apple (eg cox’s pippin) washed, and sliced into thick rings (no need to core or peel)
6 large prunes, soaked overnight, drained, stoned and chopped (or use no-soak prunes)
1 level tsp turmeric
2 heaped tsp tomato puree
Juice of 1 small lemon, or to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180C
- Put a few pieces of the meat in an ovenproof casserole and cover with layers of onion, potato, quince, prunes and spices. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients are used up.
- Dissolve tomato puree in 120ml cold water or leftover veg cooking water, then pour into the casserole.
- Cover and cook in the oven until the meat and potatoes are tender. This takes 2 hours if using lamb gigot/fillet. If using unsoaked prunes double the quantity of water in the dish and check every ½ hour to ensure it does not dry out and burn (I found this out by experience!).
- Hand around the lemon juice at the table to be added to taste.
Serve with one of these:
- A large green salad
- Steamed frozen peas
- Steamed broccoli or (even better) purple sprouting broccoli
- Baby spinach leaves and halved cherry tomatoes drizzled with virgin olive oil
Use trimmed organic sirloin steak (takes about an hour but be aware quince takes much longer to cook than an hour so use the apple with this instead) or round steak (takes about 2 hours) instead of the lamb.
Why this recipe is good for you:
Powerful antioxidants for health come from the tomato puree (lycopene) and turmeric (curcumin) in this dish. Onions, quince and apples are a great source of soluble fibre to feed beneficial gut bacteria. Meat cooked on the bone releases collageneous substances into the liquid that help nourish and heal the lining of your digestive system. Yes, home made chicken soup and other bone-based broth soups really are good for you. Lamb is a more natural meat exposed to fewer intensive farming practices than some other meats so if you can’t buy organic read meat, its a good choice.