What to cook with leftover lamb?

Using up any leftovers from Easter – or last week's roast lamb – couldn't be easier. Try whizzing it up for a shepherd's pie, in a pilaf, or, for showing off a bit, make a moussaka.We had so much lamb left over from the main event that I tried all of them.Eyebrows might be raised at the mention of leftover lamb, but I am sure that a lot of us have found ourselves left with a plethora of the stuff the Easter lunch was made of.
Lamb leftovers are slightly trickier to use up than beef or chicken. The meat is very fatty, which makes it unctuous and flavoursome when hot, but too greasy to nibble as a cold snack or use in sandwiches and salads. Instead, your best bet is to recook it and turn it into something new.My obvious go to solution for left over lamb is always to make a Rogan Josh  and I have just found a brilliant no frills, no fuss new recipe that will now replace my usual one.This recipe minimises a lot of the "faff" involved in making a curry.Lets face up to the fact no one wants to slave over a hot stove at the end of a long day.This Lamb Rogan Josh Curry is pretty special in the way that you make up the curry paste,you can make it two or three days in advance then use it when ever you like.
The Lamb Rogan Josh Curry paste will last a few days in the fridge, but make sure to sterilise your jar first.You can also freeze it in an ice cube tray, and just take them out of the freezer when ever you like.

For the Curry Paste
2 large onions
2 cloves Garlic minced
2 cm Piece of ginger minced
1 Chilli chopped
2 tbsp Paprika
1.5 tbsp Garam Masala
1 tbsp Ground Cumin
1 tbsp Ground Coriander
2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
3 tbsp Tomato Puree
80 g Red Pepper from a jar in brine!
pinch Salt and Pepper

For the Curry
500 g Lean Diced Lamb
2 tbsp Greek Yoghurt to marinade the lamb
2 tbsp Curry paste to marinade the lamb
1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
1 Beef Stock Cube
4 tbsp Curry paste to make the curry
2 tbsp Greek Yoghurt to finish the curry

Fry the onion, ginger and chilli until brown.
Place the fried onions, garlic and chilli into a food processor along with all of the Curry Paste ingredients and blitz until smooth.Place the curry paste in a sterilised jar. The mix will last a few days. You can also freeze it into ice cube trays.
To Make The Curry
Place the lamb into a non reactive bowl along with 2 tbsp of the curry paste. Add 2 tbsp of greek yoghurt  and some salt and pepper.
Mix well, then cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
Fry off 4 tbsp of the Curry Paste for a few minutes until it begins to stick to the bottom of the pan
Add the tinned tomatoes, and stock cube (just crumble it in). Fry until the mixture starts to boil
Add the lamb and a little water to the pan. Bring to a boil, then place a lid on the pan and simmer until heated through.
Remove from the heat, and add 2 tbsp of fat free yogurt, and a small bunch of roughly chopped coriander - stir well. Then serve!
Shepherds pie
The classic British method for using up lamb is, of course, the shepherd's pie, which is all about simple, savoury flavours. Fry some chopped onion, leek and carrot. Add finely chopped or minced lamb (you can whizz it in the food processor), cover with stock (made from a cube is fine if you don't have fresh) and simmer until tender. Top with mashed potato and bake at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for 20 minutes.

 Individual moussaka with a simple Greek salad
The classic Greek method for using up lamb is, of course,Moussaka.In this instance I have replaced the customary aubergine with chayote,how they make it in Brazil.I have put a further spin on the recipe by giving an alternative which is making individual starer sized portions.
serves 2 for a main plate or 4 individual starters

4 tbsp olive oil
2 Chayote, boiled then sliced 
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1.5 tsp Ras al hanout
1 tsp dried oregano
500g left over minced lamb
2 tbsp tomato purée, mixed with 150ml water
Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

For the bechamel:
500ml milk
60g butter
60g plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
Nutmeg, for grating

Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Boil the chayote unpeeled in salted water until tender, testing them after 30 minutes.Run them under the cold tap to cool them then cut them into 0.5cm slices.Set aside.
Meanwhile, put 2 tbsp olive oil into a large frying pan over a medium high heat and cook the onion until soft. Add the garlic,Ras-al-hanout and oregano and cook for a further couple of minutes, then stir in the lamb. Turn up the heat slightly, and brown the lamb well, cooking until the mixture is quite dry. Stir in the tomato purée and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down low and cook covered for 15-20 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season and stir in the parsley.
To make the bechamel. Warm the milk, and melt the butter in another saucepan. Stir the flour into the butter and cook for a couple of minutes, then gradually whisk in the hot milk. Cook until you have a thick sauce. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then beat in the eggs, salt to taste and generous nutmeg.
Arrange a layer of the chayote slices on the base of a greased oven dish, and top with half the meat. Repeat these layers, then finish off with a layer of chayote, and top with the sauce. Bake for about 45 minutes until well browned, and then leave to cool for ten minutes before serving.

For individual starter portions:
Choose 4 x 7cm  pastry cutters and put them on 4 sheets of cooking foil large enough to form a base under the cutter and then wrap around the outside of the cutter to a height of  the depth of the cutter and half again. Cut 8 previously boiled slices of chayote. Lay a slice of chayote on the bottom of each cutter top with a generous layer of meat filling and press down, cover with a second slice of chayote.Top with bechamel sauce and cook as above.


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