This month's Thai-themed Kitchen Trotter box has already arrived but I'm still working my way through the recipes from my Jordan-themed box from last month. Our tastebuds will be zinging around the world over the next few weeks ! After the huge success of the mini pizza/tartlets called Sfeha, we couldn't wait to settle down to another Jordanian meal and my version of Mansaf was another big hit. I adapted the recipe to use stewing beef instead of lamb and made it in the slow cooker to make sure the meat was nice and tender.
ingredients (for 4 people) :
2tbsp clarified butter or olive oil
1kg lamb or beef
3 or 4 green cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 chicken stock cube
for the sauce :
3 unsweetened Greek yogurts
1tbsp warm water
1/2 tsp salt
120ml chicken stock (I took some from the cooking pot)
to serve :
pine nuts pitta bread
These were the cardamom pods from the Kitchen Trotter box. They have a lovely fresh, zesty, almost citrussy smell.
As always, I browned the meat on all sides before putting it in the slow cooker. It gives it some nice colour and helps to seal in the juices. Use clarified butter or olive oil for this. Cut the onions into quarters and add to the pot, along with the bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamom. Prepare the chicken stock and add to the pot. (I made about a pint - you may need more if not using a slow cooker.)
If cooking with lamb on the hob, the original recipe suggests a cooking time of 30 minutes with a lid, plus 15 minutes without a lid, before adding the yogurt sauce. In the slow cooker, I let this bubble away for 5 hours on the low setting but it will depend on the meat you're using.
Next, you need to sort out the yogurt sauce. Madhouse Daddy came home from the weekly shop with the Greek yogurts I'd requested but one was blueberry and two were cherry flavoured so I didn't think they'd work somehow ! I replaced them with some unsweetened soya yogurt I had in the fridge.
Heat the yogurt in a large saucepan, beating with a whisk. Add the cornflour mixed with the water and salt then some of the chicken stock from the pot. Add to the meat mixture. If cooking on the hob, leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
It looked a bit disastrous when I added the soya yogurt sauce to the slow cooker because it all separated and looked horrible. An hour later it had sorted itself out though and made a lovely smooth sauce.
Toast the almonds and pine nuts in a saucepan by frying them over a low heat in 1tbsp clarified butter (or normal butter) for a few minutes.
Prepare the rice and the pitta bread. (Toast them and cut them into triangles to put round the edges of the dish.)
Serve the rice, ladle over the meat and top with the toasted pine nuts and almonds.
Perfect autumn comfort food.
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