Slow-cooked lamb with chickpeas

Slow-cooked lamb with chickpeas

By
From
The Islands of Greece
Serves
4 with leftovers
Photographer
Steven Joyce

This recipe is based on one of a series of incredible dishes we tasted at To Limeri Tou Listi, a rustic little restaurant in a tiny mountain village called Profilia on the island of Rhodes. The owner, Savvas, and his wife kindly showed me how to cook a few of their dishes, which are famous among locals. They make this dish with goat and slow-cook it overnight after the restaurant closes, as their outside wood oven cools.

If you can get hold of goat, all the better, just treat it exactly the same way as the lamb below. You could also use mutton. Slow cooking isn’t an exact science, so the timings below are guidelines only; you may find that some cuts or types of meat need a little longer. It’s the kind of dish best suited to leaving in the oven with the lid on while you go for a walk on a Sunday afternoon.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
800g stewing lamb in large pieces: shanks, fore shanks or shoulder are all good
2 onions, chopped
400g can of cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon tomato puree
120ml red wine
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 140ºC.
  2. In a large, wide, flameproof and ovenproof pan with a lid, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and brown the meat thoroughly, in batches otherwise it will stew rather than brown. Remove the meat from the pan, reduce the heat and add the remaining oil, if necessary. Soften the chopped onions in the pan for 10 minutes, stirring often. Meanwhile, remove the skins from the chickpeas by rubbing them off with your fingers.
  3. Next, add the tomato purée to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Then add the wine, stirring and scraping with a wooden spoon as it bubbles to get up any bits that have stuck to the pan. After 2 minutes, add the tomatoes, browned meat, chickpeas, allspice and 500 ml of hot water to the pan. Season generously, return to the boil, stir, then clamp the lid on and place in the oven. Cook for 2½ hours, then uncover and cook for a final hour. By this point, much of the liquid will have reduced and the meat will be falling apart. If the meat is still tough, return to the oven; if there’s still too much liquid, remove from the oven, place on the hob and simmer to reduce. Taste the sauce before serving and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  4. Serve with crusty bread and some seasonal greens.
Tags:
The Islands of Greece
Rebecca
Seal
Greek
Greece
Europe
European
Mediterranean
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