Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lamb with bulghur pilaf and peach sauce

Paper Chef time again. This time it was peaches, fresh chilis, rosemary, and cous cous. I'm substituting bulghur for the cous cous, as I'm trying to eat a high fibre diet and cous cous, though delicious, is one of my no-nos.

I was a little concerned about combining peaches, chilis and rosemary! They just didn't go together in my head. Much mulling over went on. I finally decided on something with lamb. It goes well with each of the problem ingredients, so I thought that'd be my best bet. I also wanted to make something that would be nice cold in a bento.

I bought a nice wee "mini lamb roast", which is a lamb rump, I'm pretty sure. Ridiculously expensive, anyway, at $30/kg. My little roast was only $6 worth though, and that's not too bad for dinner and lunch.

I started off with the sauce. Peaches are not in season here, so I bought a few dried ones. Also ridiculously expensive; they worked out at about $1 per half! I chopped three peach halves, a small onion, a clove of garlic, and a small red deseeded chili from the freezer into small dice. They went into a pot with 1/2 cup of cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 1 heaped tablespoon of brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.

I cooked them for ages, until everything was very soft, adding more water as needed when it started getting dryish, ending up with this:

There's quite a lot of it too. I'll use the leftovers on some pork patties I think.

Here's my wee roast with a stalk of rosemary from the garden:

I salted the meat, and rubbed in a wee bit of finely chopped rosemary - about 1/10 of that stalk. Then I seared the outside of it and put it in a hot oven (~200˚C) for 10 minutes.

It came out looking like this:

I left it to rest.

While the lamb was in the oven I started on a bulghur pilaf.

I fried some sliced onion, a bit more chopped rosemary, and a couple of chopped zucchinis, then added 1/2 cup of coarse bulghur wheat, which I stirred around in the oil a la risotto before adding a cup of vege stock.

Some chopped spinach went on top once it was simmering, and I covered it up and left it to cook.

When it was cooked it was still a bit wet, so I removed the lid and simmered it to evaporate the excess stock, then added salt to taste.

I sliced the lamb and arranged it on top of the pilaf, then put some sauce on top of the lamb.

And did the same in a bento box for tomorrow's lunch - with some extra roast veges from the fridge.

The rosemary is quite subtle, as is the chili. They do seem to work OK together, funnily enough.

Lamb with bulghur pilaf and peach sauce

Serves two dieters, or one normal person


3 dried peach halves
1 small onion (pickling size) finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1 fat red chili, deseeded and chopped finely
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 good tbsp brown sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup water

200g lamb rump
one small sprig rosemary, finely chopped

olive oil
1 small onion (pickling size) finely sliced
one small sprig rosemary, finely chopped
2 zucchinis, sliced
200g spinach, chopped coarsely
1 cup vege stock
1/2 cup coarse bulghur wheat


Heat the oven to 200˚C

Put all ingredients in a small pot and simmer until well mushed, about an hour. Add more water as needed.

Sweat zucchini, onion, and rosemary in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add wheat and stir to coat with the oil. Add vege stock and bring to boil, lay spinach on top, cover with lid, turn down heat. Leave to simmer for 10 mins or so until cooked. If all of the stock has not been absorbed, take the lid off and simmer until it has mostly evaporated. Salt to taste.

Salt the outside generously, and rub in the rosemary. Sear all sides in a little oil in a hot frypan. Put in an oven proof dish and place in the hot oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave it to reast while you finish the pilaf.

To serve:
Divide the pilaf between two plates. Slice the lamb and arrange on top of the pilaf, then spoon some sauce over the lamb.

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