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Smokey Lamb & Eggplant Stew

I make this about once a month. Lamb, eggplant, red onion and cumin is a combo that I don't like to go too long without having. Don't get cheap on the chorizo here if you can avoid it. Having a really nicely done chorizo will add something beautiful to the dish. I'd recommend Spanish chorizo if you can find it. I make this dish in the slow cooker to give it the time it needs to get all the flavours working together nicely. It also comes out really well if you use a Dutch oven. If you do, reduce the cooking time down to about 2-3 hours of low simmering and increase the amount of liquid by about 50% or more. 

Gather the Good Stuff

  1. 500-750g stewing lamb or lamb shoulder - cut into bite sized chunks and salted / peppered. If you are cutting it from bone in pieces, toss one of the bones in while it slow cooks
  2. 300-400g Spanish chorizo - cut into small pieces 
  3. 1 x 400g can of chickpea - (or use 2) drained and rinsed 
  4. 1 red onion - roughly chopped 
  5. 2 eggplants - cut into small cubes 
  6. 350ml chicken broth - best at room temperature 
  7. 2 tsp smoked paprika 
  8. 1 tsp ground cumin 
  9. 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar 
  10. 2 Tbsp vegetable oil 
  11. Salt & pepper to taste 
  12. Optional - pinch of cayenne 

Putting it all Together 

1. Warm the slow cooker on low setting
2. Add the vegetable oil to a pan on medium high heat 
3. Once warm add your eggplant and fry for 6-7 minutes. Halfway through, add the smoked paprika 
4. Transfer the eggplant to the slow cooker 
5. Using the same pan, brown the lamb in batches for 3-6 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker
6. Using the same pan, fry the onions and chorizo for 8-10 minutes. After about 5 minutes add the cumin. At the last minute add the vinegar and 30 seconds later the chicken broth. Dump in the chickpeas and allow to cook for 30 more seconds. Transfer it all into the slow cooker 
7. Allow to cook for 8 hours on low. 
8. Adjust for salt and pepper and serve in shallow bowls with a nice bread or on rice 

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