I've just finished reading Runaway by Peter May (click through to read my review), in which a group of grandads decide to recreate their teenage jaunt to London fifty years before. Back then, they were full of hope and youthful dreams of making it big in the music business, but this time, their trip has a darker, more sinister edge, even if they're not all aware of it. In the sixties, the young lads were taken in by the seemingly benign Dr Robert, who gave them a place to lay their heads and food to fill their bellies, even if it wasn't all as altruistic as it seemed. This was their first meal together (where, it turns out, their wine has been laced with LSD).
p247 I don't think any of us had ever drunk wine before. A warm, rich, heady red with which Dr Robert filled our glasses each time they were in danger of emptying. We all sat around his table, changed and washed, eating Greek food that he'd had delivered from a restaurant in the high street. Another first - at least, for me. I had never tasted anything like it before. Lamb flavoured with mint and cinnamon. Rice wrapped in vine leaves. Slow-cooked beef in a rich gravy that simply fell apart when you poked it with your fork. Tuna like steak, broken into pieces and served in a salad with little white cubes of cheese.
It was the first decent meal we'd had in three days, and we devoured it.
I've cooked quite a few Greek recipes before so I already have a blogpost about dolmades (stuffed vine leaves).
I also have a tried and tested recipe for Carbonnade, a slow cooked beef in beer casserole from Belgium which is always a family favourite.
So this time I decided to recreate a Greek-inspired lamb casserole with mint and cinnamon.
Slow-cooked Greek Lamb with Mint & Cinnamon
shoulder of lamb, chopped into pieces
1/2 green pepper
drizzle of olive oil
1tbsp smoked paprika
2tbsp dried mint
sprinkle of salt and pepper
a few stalks of dried oregano
3tsp garlic puree
1 tin tomatoes
a squeeze of tomato puree
Put the meat and onions in the slow cooker. Drizzle with olive oil and toss in all the herbs and spices. Throw it all around to cover the meat.
Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 6 hours (or whenever you get home from work !).
Serve with rice or orzo, to be authentic. We had ours with macaroni cheese because that's what the kids were eating !
Fancy cooking the books? Join in with the #readcookeat challenge over at Chez Maximka.