Rice is a cook’s best friend when it comes to transforming leftover roasts. You can easily turn a few discarded bits of lamb into a wonderful new meal (where no one feels like they’re eating yesterday’s dinner over again.)
The lamb melts into the rice and becomes juicy and plump, it’s flavour heightened by a few spices and brightened by a squeeze of lemon juice. The key, as always, with rice dishes like this is using a pan with a very tight fitting lid so the rice can cook in the steam, absorbing all the flavours around it. If your lid is loose, use foil to cover the pan first then put the lid over the top and promise not to peak until the time is up.
Leftover Lamb Pilau
- 200g basmati rice
- 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
- 5 cloves
- 1 stick cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 5 peppercorns
- 1 big onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder
- ½ – 1 teaspoon of salt
- 350g lamb, chopped
- 500ml vegetable stock
- a squeeze of lemon
- a small handful of coriander leaves to garnish
In a wide bottomed lidded pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and when hot, add the cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds and pepper to the pan and stir fry for a couple of minutes until fragrant, then add the onions.
While you’re frying the onions, wash the rice under cold water until the water runs clear, then leave it to soak in a deep pan of warm water.
Stir the onions every now and then for around 12-15 minutes until they are caramelised and brown. (Don’t skimp on the cooking time as there’s a lot of flavour in those lovely onions). Then add the garlic, stir fry for a couple of minutes then add the chopped tomatoes.
When the tomatoes are looking jammy, add the chilli powder, the salt (start with 1/2 teaspoon, moving up to 1 after adding the stock if necessary). Then throw in the lamb and drain and add rice, stir to coat in the sauce then add the hot stock.
Bring the stock up to a good boil for a couple of minutes then pop the lid on and turn down the heat to a simmer. Leave to cook for 15 minutes then take off the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, uncover and squeeze over with lemon juice, scatter with a handful of coriander and serve.