My pressure cooker wins again, producing this spiced and aromatic recipe, again from my favorite book by Weinstein and Scarbrough. Granted they call it a casserole and if I was to use that word to describe a meal the hubs gets the saddest look on his face. Casserole trauma as a youth? You certainly would not need a pressure cooker, just more time, to make sure that the lamb is cooked and so is rice. Another bonus is that while there are two pressure sessions, the first one generates up to 4 cups of extra broth to put away for another day AND this made enough for another meal the next night.
This recipes makes at least six servings, I would say more like eight with other items. To balance out the richness of the lamb and rice, I made a version of Alice Waters ‘Moroccan Carrot Salad’. The tang was refreshing and a dollop of yogurt completed it (recipe at the end). The next night we mixed it up a bit and served the left over lamb and rice with another (yes another!!) dish right out of the pressure cooker: Cuban style black beans. This turned it into a global Moros y Christianos of sorts.
Spiced lamb chickpeas and rice
- 2 pounds (approx) lamb shoulder, shoulder steak or leg; i used bone in shoulder and removed the bones later. Leg is more expensive but still tasty
- 1 whole white or yellow onion peeled and cut in half once
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons all-spice berries (note: calling this optional since i could find them and didn’t use them)
- 2 teaspoons cloves, whole
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 8 whole green dried cardamon pods
- 2 bay leaves (I always think these are optional…but another day)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- approx 1 heaping cup chopped white or yellow onion or a generous half cup of chopped shallots
- 1 generous tablespoon minced garlic
- 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas); drained (but save the liquid for dessert) and rinsed
- 1 cup of dry white rice, like basmati or regular white Chinese rice (since i have a 25 pound bag of this stuff), just not quick cook stuff
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dry ground ginger
- If you have it, 1/2 teaspoon saffron
- First you are going to make the lamb broth that will be used to cook the rice later one. This is done in two steps because the meat needs more time and liquid than the rice. Trust me.
- Cut the lamb up into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces. I cut most of the meet of the shoulder bone but still put the bones in the for the first (next step). Flavor!
- In the pot of your pressure cooker put the first eight ingredients (lamb, onion halves, whole spices) and pour in enough water (tap is fine) to cover everything. Somewhere between 4 and 6 cups of water.
- Pressure cooking session #1. I use a stovetop at 15PSI for 10 minutes (once heated). When this session is done, use a quick release method to bring down pressure and open pot. Let it cool and loiter with the lid off for about 5 minutes.
- Pick out the pieces of meat and put on a plate or bowl to the side. Get the bones out. Pick off any remaining meat and put in the bowl with the other pieces. Toss the bones. I also saved a little bit of the onion from this first go around since 1) i didn’t have the second one, oops and was using a shallots and 2) why not use a little more.
- Pour the remaining broth and whole spices and onion into large measuring cup or bowl through a wire colander to strain out the bits and reserve the broth. Toss the spice bits.
- Give your cooker inside a quick wipe to get out any last spices.
- Turn on the heat and add some olive oil! This time add the chopped onion (second listing on ingredients). Cook and stir until it starts to soften, then add in garlic. But just for half a minute or so, so you can start to smell it. Add in the garbanzo beans, rice and ground spices. Stir around getting the hot, covered in oil and really starting to be fragrant, about 60 to 90 seconds.
- Add in 2 1/4 cups of the amazing broth you just made. Stir up all the ingredients well.
- Pressure cooking session #2. Again heat up pot to 15 PSI and this time around cook for 10 minutes. However, when cooking is done do the quick release valve method but do not (DON’T) remove the lid right away. Let the pot sit after cooking, after returning to normal pressure for 5 minutes. Magic happens.
- Now you can open it. Stir and serve.
- Don’t forget to freeze your lamb stock. I suggest 1 cup portions.
- NOW I hope you didn’t toss the magic bean brine…. try some aquafaba recipes with it!
Moroccan Carrot Salad
Here is a link to the recipe out of Art of Simple food. Just use regular carrots (not baby) and I added a sliced baby eggplant about halfway through the boiling of the carrots, since it was on hand a needing to be consumed. A parsnip might have snuck in there as well. Lastly, some minced fresh ginger can be added. Lots of options. Serve with parsley or mix in with some other greens like arugula etc.
We have also tried and enjoyed a lamb white bean and cranberry soup out the Great Big Pressure Cooker Book. Next up in our kitchen is a ground lamb and apricot recipe.