Lamb Baked with Peppers and Cheese

This dish is an adaptation of a popular Tunisian dish and is ideal for a family dinner treat. The dish is particularly attractive when made with red peppers but if these not available green ones may be substituted.

4 SERVINGS

2 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground mixed spice or allspice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 lb. boned shoulder of lamb, cut into J-inch cubes

3 tablespoons olive oil lh oz. butter 10 fl. oz. water medium-sized onions, thinly sliced red peppers, white pith removed, seeded and cut into strips

2 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped :1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

12 oz. fine dry breadcrumbs

4 eggs, lightly beaten

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the ginger, mixed spice or allspice, salt and pepper. Place the meat cubes in the bowl and turn them until the meat is coated with the mixture.

In a large frying-pan heat

2 tablespoons of the oil and

1 ounce of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add half the meat cubes and cook them, stirring and turning frequently, for

5 minutes or until they are browned on all sides. Using a slotted spoon remove the meat from the pan and place it in a medium-sized saucepan. Brown the remaining meat in the same way.

Pour the water into the saucepan containing the meat. Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the water to the boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer the meat for 35 minutes or until the meat is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

In the frying-pan heat the remaining oil and butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions and cook them, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until they are soft and translucent but not brown. Add the peppers and cook for 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cayenne pepper to the pan and simmer the mixture, stirring occa-sionally, for 15 minutes or until it is very thick.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, drain the meat and reserve 4 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Discard the excess cooking liquid.

Place the meat in a large ovenproof casserole. Add the reserved cooking liquid to the onion and pepper mixture and pour this over the meat. Sprinkle the cheese and breadcrumbs over the sauce and stir in the eggs, but do not incorporate them fully.

Place the casserole in the oven and cook for 20 minutes (stir the mixture once after 5 minutes of the cooking time) or until the eggs have set.

Remove the casserole from the oven and serve immediately.

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