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Slow lamb and root veg stew

A nice gently-cooked stew makes stewing fillet (like this nice lamb neck fillet we bought) turn all melty and delicious. (There's no need to cut the lamb into small pieces - letting a few nice large pieces stew away is the best way to do this. As long as there's at least one piece each!) And this is a very nice one-pot meal.

I used quinoa because Philippa bought it as an experiment, but you could use rice in exactly the same way. This takes a while on the hob but it's easy to do. Serves 2.

  • 175g (approx) lamb neck fillet
  • 1/2 a butternut squash
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1/2 a cup of dry quinoa, or rice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary

Dice the onion finely. Warm a large pan with some vegetable oil in, and add the onion. While the onion is gently softening, peel the carrots and squash and chop them into bite-size pieces.

Move the onions to one side and put the lamb into the pan too. Let the lamb take the oil for 30 seconds or so, then stir the lamb and onions together for a further 30 seconds. Add the carrot and squash, then add the cinnamon, basil and rosemary. Pour boiling water into the pan so that it well covers everything. Mix everything up.

Once everything's bubbling nicely, put the lid on and turn the heat right down. Now leave the pan bubbling very gently for about an hour and a half. The objective here is to let the lamb start to melt and break down, and at the same time to let the vegetables cook gently without them breaking down into mush. That's why we use a very gentle heat for a long time.

After the hour and a half, add the quinoa to the pan and gently mix it into the stew. Turn the heat up a little so that the stew can carry on bubbling without the lid on, letting a little of the liquid evaporate away. Let the stew cook for another 20 or 30 minutes.

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