Butternut Squash and Spiced Lamb Stew

Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
900 g lamb neck fillet or leg of lamb,
trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2.5 cm piece fresh root ginger, grated
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp harissa paste*
25 g plain flour
1.2 litres lamb or vegetable stock
1.3 kg butternut squash
4 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and roughly chopped
(alternatively, use a tin of tomatoes and reduce the stock liquid)
400 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
225 g baby spinach
2 tbsp lemon juice

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the lamb and cook over a high heat for 4 – 5 minutes until browned all over, stirring occasionally. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 3 – 4 minutes until softened. Stir in the tomato puree, harissa and flour and cook over a medium heat for 1 – 2 minutes. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Peel and cut the flesh into bite-size chunks.

Add tomatoes, squash and chickpeas to the lamb mixture and cook for 30 more minutes, or until the squash is tender but not too soft, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the spinach and lemon juice and cook for a further 1 – 2 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with rice or couscous and lots of crusty bread to mop up the juices!

This is also very nice with some fresh coriander sprinkled over the top just before serving.

*Harissa paste can be bought in most supermarkets, but if you can’t find it, you can use curry paste instead.

From Monika Based on a recipe from the BBC Good Food Magazine.