I had a couple of lamb mini-roasts from Koallah Farm, which I had planned for dinner when a friend was coming around… in the end, it was just me and Andrew that evening, so I had an entire mini roast, cooked somewhere between rare and medium-rare, leftover. I also had some rather nice flatbreads in the freezer, from a rather epic Scoopon which resulted in terrifying amounts of bread, and a bunch of long eggplants and tinned tomatoes on hand. After yesterday’s outing to Zaatar, I also had labneh, and a yen for more middle-eastern food, so I decided to play with eggplant yogurtlu (a Turkish dish that I am very fond of), flatbreads, zaatar and lamb.
Foolishly, I did not photograph the results, but I’m recording them here anyway, because that was one delicious meal, and I will definitely make it again next time I have leftover lamb.
Your Shopping List2 red onions olive oil – quite a lot, I’m afraid, because eggplants *drink* the stuff. 6 long eggplants 3 cloves of garlic, or more 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, or half a punnet of cherry tomatoes and one or two rather elderly tomatoes that got left out on a bench and forgotten when you had choir one night and Williamstown the next and basically didn’t do any cooking for a few days 400g tinned chopped tomatoes dried mint dried thyme 1 lamb mini-roast, cooked rare (I realise that you aren’t going shopping for this, really. Basically, leftover roast lamb of any kind would be fine, and you want about 300 grams of it) 100 g labneh or thick Greek yoghurt, I think. I really don’t know! It was several big spoonfuls, until the sauce got a bit paler and smelled right… 4 thick flatbreads more olive oil zaatar, to sprinkle on the flatbreads
Chop the onions, not particularly finely or coarsely, and sauté in a large skillet with some olive oil. Slice up the eggplants into discs about half a centimetre thick and add to the onions as you go, stirring periodically, until they are soft. You may need to add oil if it all dries out too much.
Crush your garlic and add to the eggplant mix. Halve the cherry tomatoes or coarsely chop the larger tomatoes and add as you go. Add in the herbs and bring to a nice simmer while you do other things. You could stop at this point and use the recipe as a vegetarian pasta sauce, incidentally, or in a pasta bake with mozzarella.
Slice the roasted lamb, and cut into strips. Add to the tomato sauce, and let the whole thing simmer gently while you prepare the flatbreads (the lamb doesn’t need to cook, after all, just get nicely warm).
Heat the flatbreads in the oven until they start thinking about being crispy, without actually achieving crispiness. Take them out and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with zaatar (this is a lebanese spice mix with differing ingredients depending where you get it, but all kinds would work. Dukkah would also work). Return to the oven briefly, to crisp up, mindful of the fact that they will burn as soon as look at you.
When the flatbreads are ready, cut them all into quarters (it doesn’t matter if you do them in batches so that some are warm rather than hot). Stir some labneh into your stew, and mix through until the sauce is a bit orangey-pink. Serve the stew with the flatbreads and maybe more labneh if you are a mad labneh-fan like me.
This would probably work nicely with leftover beef, veal or chicken, but lamb is definitely best. Or goat, actually. Goat would be great, I think. You can vary the herbs – oregano and marjoram are both good, and rosemary would also work, as would fennel or even a little chilli. You can, of course, skip the labneh if you are dairy-intolerant. It tastes fine without it, just different. You can also skip the flatbread and serve the stew with rice, couscous or any other plausible grain or carbohydrate. You could also make a lovely vegetarian version of this with a tin of chickpeas replacing the meat (and again, to veganise, just skip the labneh).
Basically, this is a pretty forgiving sauce – just about anything you do with it would work. Experiment! It’s not like I gave you particularly useful quantities anyway!
This time last year…Farmers’ Market in Winter Pretending To Be Spring