Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tender Braised Lamb with Turnips and Mint

I scooped up some lamb that was on sale right after Easter. With turnips wasting away in the fridge thanks to the CSA box, this seemed like the perfect dish. I was a bit concerned that the herbs in this dish would be overwhelming, but the end result was excellent with just a hint of heat from the dried chiles. Make sure you have some naan or something else to soak up the extra sauce.

Tender Braised Lamb with Turnips and Mint (from 660 Curries)

6 tbsp mustard oil or canola oil
450g turnips, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 large red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
5 large cloves garlic, chopped
4 lengthwise slices ginger (2"x1"x1/8"), chopped
500g boneless leg of lamb, fat trimmed and discarded, cut into 1" cubes
4 black cardamom pods
1 tbsp Bin bhuna hua garam masala
2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup firmly packed mint
3 dried red Thai or cayenne chiles, stems removed
1 large tomato, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add turnips and stir-fry until light brown around edge, 5 - 8 minutes. Transfer to plate.
2. Add 2 tbsp oil to same pan and heat over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry until honey-brown, 8 - 10 minutes. Transfer to blender.
3. Add 1 cup water to blender and puree into smooth paste.
4. Heat remaining 2 tbsp oil in pan over medium heat. Add lamb and cardamom and cook, stirring until browned, 15 minutes.
5. Add onion paste, garam masala, and salt to pan. Cover and braise, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, add mint and chiles to mortar. Pound into pasty blend. Add tomato a few pieces at a time and pound into paste until it's all incorporated.
7. Add mint mixture, turnips, and cilantro to pan. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally until turnips and lamb are tender, 15 - 20 minutes.

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