So two things happened which led to this beautiful concoction of West African spiced Lamb marrying into the traditional Lancashire hot pot, where lamb slowly cooks under a blanket of sliced potatoes. Firstly I was feeling a bit unwell due to the indecisive London weather that was not sure if the sun would come out to bless us with its warmth or it would stick to its usual grey days. Secondly, I was told that the £5 in my purse was about to be unusable in 20 hours, so once my working day was done, off to the supermarket I went. I saw the lean lamb staring at me, and I instantly knew I wanted something warm and hearty, but also fuss free that could cook with the help of an oven, so I could attend to other things while it cooked.
As soon as I got home, the lamb was chopped, washed in lemon juice and without hesitation I covered it in Suya powder, and the rest became this dish.
Suya powder /spice mix is a peanut spice mix that is popular in West Africa, and believed to have originated from the Hausa people and its available purchase it from African supermarkets. I always buy mine in Ghana, however there are a few sites that have posted recipes of this mix, which I am yet to try, hence why I haven’t posted a link but if you have, tag it in the comments)
Notes & Tips –
- Spices used in this dish are not measured as I cooked it to taste, except the suya spice mix.
- Tarragon is a fragrant herb with similarities to aniseed; the dish would still be amazing without if you are not keen on the flavor of this herb.
- This is a spicy dish; remove the fresh chili if you want to tone it down for your guests.
- Washing the meat in lemon is optional; I am just sharing how I like to prepare my meat.
- Also don’t throw your lemon away once you have squeezed the juice from it! Use it to wash your chopping board (use the lemon with soap as you would a wash sponge and rinse, then repeat with the wash sponge and soap – this helps get rid of the smell of onion and meat).
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 50 minutes Serves: 4-5
300g Lamb diced (I used Lean Lamb leg)
Juice of 1 Lemon.
4 table spoons of suya
2 large potatoes
1 Red Onion chopped
5 Carrots cut chunky
10 cherry tomatoes /2 tomatoes
250 ml water
1 stock cube
1 teaspoon of tomato puree
Fresh tarragon finely chopped
1 tbsp Oil
- Place your diced lamb and lemon in a bowl, mix and leave for 2-3 minutes. Rinse ensuring to drain as much water as possible.
- Mix 3 table spoons of suya spice powder into the lamb and set aside.
- Using a mandolin slicer, slice the potatoes into thin slices and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. Pat dry with kitchen towel.
- Blend the tomatoes, chili a pinch of salt and the 250mil of water to a blender/food processor and set aside.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan on high heat and fry the lamb for 1-2mins, you should see the edges brown, this is to seal the flavor. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- With the same pan, add 1 table spoon of oil and lower the heat to medium. Add the onions and carrots, frying it to get a caramelized color. After 2 minutes add the tarragon, turmeric and salt.
- Lower the heat to low-medium. Stir in the blended tomato and chili that you set aside earlier and your tomato puree and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, whilst stirring. – Preheat the oven to Gas mark 5 /190°C
- Remove the sauce from the heat and taste to ensure that it is well seasoned, once you are happy with the flavor, stir in the lamb.
- Place the contents in an oven proof dish and cover with the sliced potatoes. Sprinkle/spray oil onto of the potatoes, and place in the oven to cook for 35 minutes.
- Sprinkle suya spice mix on top of the potatoes and place in the over for another 5-10 minutes.
- Serve Hot.