This is a little more complicated than my usual “chuck it all in and hope for the best” approach to slow cooking and there are a fair few ingredients. Don’t let that put you off though. It does need some preparation but then it sits quite happily smelling wonderful for hours. It’s worth getting up a little earlier or even preparing the sauce the night before as it’s so much nicer, cheaper and lower in fat than the takeaway versions.
Ingredients and approximate cost
- 500g lamb (can be leg/neck fillets/shoulder whatever is cheapest) £7.00
- Can of plum tomatoes (50p)
- 2 red onions thinly sliced (50p)
Serves 6 – total cost £8.00
The Spice Mix
I use chili, ginger, cardamon, ground coriander, cumin, garam masala, garlic and cinnamon in this recipe. If you don’t have all these available then use Garam Masala (or just a generic curry powder)and add garlic, ginger and cinnamon. The idea behind a bhuna is that it has a lot of spice and flavour and not much sauce. The sauce is reduced right down and the spices are intensified. It’s not a very liquid dish. Whatever spices you use mix them together in the quantities you prefer. I use.
- 2 tsp Garam Masala
- 2 tsp garlic granules
- 1/2 tsp dried chilli
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger (or l a good squirt of lazy ginger or 1/2 inch grated ginger root)
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamon (if I remember, it’s in the garam masala any way)
Mix it all together and put into a dish for use later. If using wet ingredients such as the lazy ginger, mix to form a paste.
Finely slice the onions and brown in a pan. They need to be well browned but not burnt. Using red onions means that there are more natural sugars and you do not need to add any. Use Frylight or similar to coat the pan just before the onions go in to prevent sticking.
Once the onions are browned add the spice mix and stir until the onion is coated. allow to cook for a couple of minutes and then add the tinned tomatoes and full of water. This is the sauce. It can then be transferred to the slow cooker or blitz until smooth and then transferred. Make sure that the pan is thoroughly empty scraping off any residue.
This sauce can then be chilled and used the next day if preferred.
Trim all visible fat from the shoulder fillets and cut into rough cubes. Add to a slowcooker and cover in the sauce. Cook for at least 6 hours on a medium heat. Longer is better. About an hour before serving remove the lid. This will help the sauce to reduce, if it isn’t thick you may want to add a stock cube to help it along.
- EE – Free (serve with rice or wedges/jacket potato) or wholemeal chapatti as an HE
- Original –Free (use brown rice, wholemeal chapatti, jacket potato as an HE)