Lamb Stew with Vegetables

A nourishing and warmly satisfying dish from the Middle East, Lamb Stew with Vegetables is a meal in itself and needs no accompaniments other than crusty bread and a dry red wine.

1 oz. seasoned flour, made with

2 oz. flour,

1 teaspoon salt and

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 lb. boned lamb, cut into

1-inch cubes

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon dried mint

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 onions, thinly sliced large tomatoes, sliced

2 small aubergines , cubed and degorged

8 oz. courgettes , sliced

1 pint hot chicken stock or water juice of

2 lemon

2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

7 oz. canned chick-peas, drained

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). Place the seasoned flour on a large plate. Roll the lamb cubes in the seasoned flour until they are coated on all sides. Shake off the excess flour and set aside.

Place the salt, pepper, nutmeg, mint and turmeric on a saucer and mix them lightly with a teaspoon to blend. Set the seasoning mixture aside.

In a large, flameproof casserole, heat the oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to moderate and add the lamb cubes, a few at a time. Fry, turning frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. With a slotted spoon remove the lamb cubes as they brown and set them aside on a plate.

Add the onions to the casserole and fry them for 5 to 7 minutes or until they are soft and translucent but not brown.

Return the lamb cubes to the casserole. Arrange them in layers with the tomatoes, aubergines and courgettes . Sprinkle each layer with a little of the seasoning mixture and pour in the stock and lemon juice.

Cover the casserole and put it in the oven to cook for 1 hour.

Remove the casserole from the oven and add the potatoes and chick-peas. Stir to blend the ingredients. Return the casserole to the oven and cook for a further 30 to 45 minutes or until the meat is tender and the potatoes cooked. Remove the casserole from the oven and serve immediately.

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