2.5kgboned shoulder of lambtrimmed of fat and and cubed
4carrotscut into thick batons
leavesfrom 4 sprigs of rosemarychopped finely (the recipe prescribes thyme, but we forgot to buy it, and there is a rosemary bush in next door's garden :lol: )
3 400gtins chopped tomatoes
1bottle dry white wine
300gorzorice-shaped pasta. Nigella uses 500g macaroni, but we found 300g ample
handful of chopped basil leaves
Preheat your slow-cooker on a high heat, or your oven to 140ºC.
Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a heavy based saucepan and brown the meat in batches, removing to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add the remaining oil and the onions to the pan and cook on a low heat until softened. Season and add the garlic, celery, rosemary and oregano. Cook for a few minutes more.
Add half the mixture to the slow cooker (or to a casserole dish if you don't have one). Pile the cooked lamb on top, followed by the remaining onion mixture. Add the tomatoes, stock and wine, and poke the carrots and bay leaves into the mix. If you are using a conventional oven, put the casserole on the heat and bring to the boil, then cover and place in the oven. For a slow-cooker, cover the dish, place in the cooker, and monitor until bubbles start to appear. Then reduce the heat to low.
In both cases, cook the stew for up to 7 hours. The slower and the longer, the better the flavour and tenderness of the meat. When you are ready to serve, transfer the stew to a hob-proof pan or dish. Nigella removes the carrots now, but we left them in to eat, fishing out only the bay leaves. They're the softest, sweetest way to eat vegetables! At this stage we noticed a lot of fat sitting on the top, so we placed some folded kitchen roll on the surface of the stew, to soak some of it away. Remove the paper, bring to the boil and add the orzo. Simmer for around 15 minutes, until the pasta is cooked, adding a little water if it seems dry.
Crumble the feta cheese, mix with the chopped basil, and hand round to be sprinkled on top of the stew as it is served.
This may all seem like a bit of a faff for a slow-cooker recipe, but it really is worth the extra effort, so do try it - you won't be disappointed!