Spiced lamb with wholewheat

    50 min

    Pre-cooked wholewheat grain has been popular in France for some time and is now fast catching on in the UK. Here it is cooked with spices, dried fruits and tender lamb cutlets to make a delicious Middle Eastern-style dish.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 4 lamb chops, about 400 g (14 oz) in total, trimmed of all fat
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
    • 2 tsp cumin seeds
    • 225 g (8 oz) pre-cooked wholewheat grains
    • 600 ml (1 pint) chicken or vegetable stock
    • juice of 1 orange
    • 1 tsp clear honey
    • seeds from 6 cardamom pods
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 250 g (8½ oz) ready-to-eat prunes
    • 55 g (2 oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, cut into slivers
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
    • salt and pepper
    • To garnish
    • 1 orange, segmented and segments halved
    • 30 g (1 oz) unsalted pistachio nuts, chopped
    • sprigs of fresh mint

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Ready in:50min 

    1. Heat a large, deep, non-stick frying pan. Add the lamb cutlets and cook over a moderate heat for 2 minutes on each side or until nicely browned. Transfer to a plate.
    2. Add the onion to the juices left in the pan (there shouldn't be any need to add any oil) and cook gently for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in the ginger and cumin seeds, and cook gently for 1 minute.
    3. Stir in the wholewheat, then add the stock, orange juice, honey, cardamom seeds and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, and return the lamb to the pan together with the prunes, apricots, mint, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes or until the wholewheat is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.
    4. Stir in the orange segments and scatter the chopped pistachio nuts over the top. Serve garnished with sprigs of mint.

    Some more ideas

    Flavoured varieties of pre-cooked wholewheat are available, for example, with sun-dried tomato. This would be delicious used here. * For a lamb pilaf with dates, cut 225 g (8 oz) lean boneless lamb (leg, shoulder or neck fillet) into small cubes. Heat 1 tbsp sunflower oil in a large frying pan, add the lamb and brown all over. Add 1 chopped onion and 2 tsp finely chopped fresh root ginger and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g, with the juice, 450 ml (15 fl oz) lamb or chicken stock, 1 tsp each ground cumin and ground coriander, and seasoning to taste. Bring to the boil, then cover and cook gently for 15 minutes. Stir in 225 g (8 oz) basmati rice, a further 300 ml (10 fl oz) hot stock and 225 g (8 oz) stoned whole dates. Cover and cook for 10–15 minutes or until the rice is tender. Scatter over a generous handful of chopped fresh coriander and serve.

    Plus points

    Lamb tends to be a fatty meat, but changes in breeding, feeding and butchery techniques have reduced the fat content considerably. Today, lean cuts contain about one-third of the fat that was found in lamb 20 years ago. * Prunes contain useful amounts of potassium, iron and vitamin B6. They are also a good source of dietary fibre.

    Each serving provides

    copper * B1, C, niacin, iron, potassium * B2, B6, calcium

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