Hello winter food!
I love a one pot, I absolutely hate washing up and tidying my kitchen post dinner so anything that limits the amount of that I have to do is always a win, and the fact that this is DELICIOUS makes it a new favourite of mine!
It's packed full of Cypriot flavours of tomato and earthy cinnamon and the creamy yoghurt is just perfect with the lamb - as an added bonus the rice is full of veggies too!
This dish can be on the table in just over half an hour, and 15 of that is it sitting in the oven doing its thing, and get all your veggies prepared before you start cooking and you'll be good to go in no time!
8 lamb leg steaks
1 onion finely sliced
1 pepper finely sliced
1 large carrot grated on the large grater setting
1 courgette grated on the large grater setting
2 large handfuls of baby spinach
10 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
2 cloves of garlic grated/finely chopped OR 1 teaspoon pre chopped lazy garlic
300 ml in a measuring jug of long grain rice, washed and drained
2 nests of vermicelli lightly crushed or a handful of ready crushed fide
700ml boiling water
1 chicken/veg stock cube
1 tablespoon tomato paste/puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoon fresh mint roughly chopped
Oven at 190*c and 1 kettle full of water boiled ready.
1 - In a hob to oven safe dish heat a little oil, season the lamb steaks and fry them for a few moments each side just till slightly browned, remove to a plate and set aside.
2 - In the same pan fry the onions and peppers for about 3-4 minutes (add a little extra oil if needed) and then add the garlic, carrot and courgette. Season and add the cinnamon, cumin and smoked paprika and vermicelli/fide. Continue to cook for a few minutes longer on a medium heat.
3 - Add the long grain rice and stir so everything is coated well, and turn to a low heat.
measure 700ml of boiling water, and dissolve a stock cube in, once dissolved add in the tomato paste, mix well and pour into the pan, stir well. cover and leave on a low heat for 2-3 minutes
4 - Remove the lid and stir in the spinach, cherry tomatoes, chopped mint and the juice of half a lemon.
Place the lamb steaks on top of the rice, cover again and oven cook for 10 minutes, check half way through to see if the rice needs a splash more water adding.
5 - Once the rice is cooked through, remove the lid and cook for a final 5-6 minutes in the oven. remove, squeeze over a bit more lemon juice and top with some thick Greek yoghurt!
For rice I measure using a measuring jug - it saves on weighing things out and you can use the same just for measuring out the stock too.
I add crushed vermicelli/fides to mine, as I always do when I make pilaf, its common within Cypriot and Middle eastern cooking but if you don't have any or don't want to it doesn't matter to leave it out.
This dish and these flavours also works well with Skin on chicken thighs - you would just need to cook them a little longer in the pan and check they're cooked through before serving.
Got extra veggies you want to use - don't be shy and chuck them in, a handful of peas or green beans works well thrown in just before it goes in the oven!
Just before I put it in the oven uncovered I also add a few dots of salted butter to the top of the rice - it's not integral, but I love butter and it adds a extra bit of rich naughtiness which I cant resist.