Recipe: Lockdown Spanish lamb stew

So today’s Spanish lamb stew is inspired by one of my favourite Spanish ingredients – paprika. And partly dictated by some of the store cupboard and freezer staples I have to hand. We are in lockdown after all – and what’s the point of stocking up if you’re not going to use it all up to create something delectable. This is such an easy recipe and you won’t believe how spectacular it tastes. Also it’s packed with vegetables so you’re going to get plenty of nourishment.

I was going to include potato originally but there were none in the shops the day I visited (panic potato buying, go figure?!). Luckily, as I made a large portion there was plenty left for another dinner – to which I added a large potato (now back in stock!) and some peas for a second tasty meal.

The ingredients

Serves 2 (with leftovers)

2 tbsps vegetable oil or butter

1 large onion, peeled and sliced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

1 heaped tsp of paprika

2 dried chillis, crumbled

300g leg of lamb, diced

1 small red pepper, cored and chopped

1 tin (410g) chopped tomatoes

300g vegetable stock

1 large handful of frozen baby carrots, defrosted

1 tin butter beans

The process

Heat the olive oil or butter in a pan on the stove and add the onion, garlic, chillis and paprika. Cook on medium-low for about 20 minutes until the onion is soft and the flavours have infused. Keep an eye on the mix and add a few teaspoons of water if it starts looking too dry. Stir regularly.

Recipe: Spanish stew
The softest of onions infuse the colour and flavour of the paprika and garlic

Add the lamb, stir through to coat with the spice mix and brown. Add the chopped red pepper.

Recipe: Spanish stew
In goes the lamb and the fresh red pepper

Next add the tin of tomatoes and the vegetable stock. Cover and simmer on low for about 30 mins.

Recipe: Spanish stew
Add tomatoes and stock to the pan for richness and flavour

You can turn your dish off at this stage and leave it until you are about 40 minutes from wanting to eat. With 40 mins to go, add the drained butter beans and frozen (defrosted) baby carrots. Cover and simmer for 30 mins.

Recipe: Spanish stew
The final vegetables completely the vibrant dish

Cook uncovered for the final 10 minutes so the liquid can thicken up slightly. The finished dish should have a broth-like texture – you’re gonna need a spoon to savour every last drop. Seriously, that’s how good it is.

My top tips

Cook the onion and spice mixture really slowly on a low heat, adding water to keep it moist. I do this for every onion-based dish I cook and it makes such a difference to both the consistency and flavour of the dish.

Any kind of tinned beans (not in tomato sauce) you have in your pantry will work here – haricot, borlotti, even kidney. Butter beans are my favourite.

Chickpeas would also work well.

If you’re vegetarian, leave out the lamb and add more veg e.g. chick peas, pumpkin, even peas.

We ate about two thirds of the dish for dinner. I then added potato and peas for another dinner a couple of nights later. The flavours were even more intense. Yum!

The dish would also freeze well – so consider making a large batch. You can always add fresh veg when you reheat on the day.

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