Hotpot with golden parsnips

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About this recipe: Middle-Eastern influences bring beans, aubergines, apricots, garlic and warm spices to this lamb hotpot, but the topping is in traditional British style – a golden layer of parsnip slices.

Norma MacMillan

Ingredients
Serves: 6 

  • 115 g (4 oz) dried black-eyed beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) boneless leg of lamb, cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) cubes
  • 1 large aubergine, cubed
  • 115 g (4 oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, quartered
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 225 g (8 oz) turnips, diced
  • d tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 675 g (1½ lb) parsnips, thinly sliced
  • about 900 ml (1½ pints) vegetable stock, preferably home-made
  • salt and pepper
  • sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley to garnish

Method
Prep:30min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Ready in:2hr 

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F, gas mark 3). Drain the soaked black-eyed beans and place them in a saucepan. Add cold water to cover, bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then drain well. Set aside.
  2. Reserve 1 tsp of the oil and heat the remainder in a large flameproof casserole. Add the onions and garlic, and cook for 2–3 minutes or until softened. Add the lamb and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until browned. (If you do not have a suitable flameproof casserole, cook the onions and lamb in a frying pan, then transfer to an ovenproof dish. Bring the stock to the boil in the pan before pouring it into the dish.)
  3. Stir in the aubergine, apricots, carrots, turnips, cinnamon, cumin and coriander, with seasoning to taste. Add the black-eyed beans and stir well.
  4. Arrange the parsnip slices in a thick layer on top of the hotpot, slightly overlapping them, then pour in sufficient stock to come just below the surface of the parsnips. Bring to the boil, then cover the casserole and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Preheat the grill. Brush the reserved 1 tsp of oil over the parsnips and place under the grill to crisp the top. Serve hot, garnished with parsley sprigs.

Some more ideas

*Use other varieties of beans, such as red kidney beans, borlotti beans or pinto beans, instead of the black-eyed beans. *Add the grated zest and juice of 1 large orange with the spices. *Replace the aubergine with 450 g (1 lb) pumpkin, butternut squash or kabocha squash flesh, cut into large cubes.

Plus points

*This hotpot combines a high proportion of vegetables, pulses and additional flavouring ingredients to extend a modest portion of lean meat in a heart-healthy dish. *Dried apricots are a valuable source of many minerals – phosphorus, potassium and iron – as well as fibre. *Eaten in moderation, red meat, such as lamb or beef, makes a valuable contribution in a well-balanced diet. As well as being high in protein, meat provides zinc and iron in a form that is readily absorbed by the body. Red meat also provides most of the B vitamins.

Each serving provides

B12, A, B1, C, E, folate, copper, iron, zinc, B6, niacin, calcium, potassium

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