Slow cooked Lamb with Chickpeas and Capsicum
Slow-cooked Lamb with Chickpeas and Capsicum
Slow-cooked lamb with chickpeas and capsicum is another variation of my Cypriot-style recipe. I absolutely love slow-cooked recipes, as you simply prepare the dish, place it in the oven and forget until it is cooked. And in the end… it results in the most moreish meal! Tender and delicious!
Making the slow-cooked lamb with chickpeas and capsicum is quite easy to prepare. There are however a few tips I learned along the way and wanted to share:
1. If you are using dry chickpeas, it is important to boil them slightly after soaking, to help with the cooking process. When I added the chickpeas without boiling, despite them cooking for 4hrs with the lamb, the chickpeas were not as tender (but still edible). On the other hand, if you are using canned chickpeas, they do not require to be soaked or boiled beforehand.
2. Marinating the lamb ahead of time for this recipe gives the lamb enough time to absorb the salt. Otherwise, the chickpeas will take up too much of it. The lamb in the Cypriot version doesn’t need to be marinated from the day before. That is because potatoes are a type of vegetable that actually can handle a bit more salt.
3. Placing the chickpeas, onion and capsicum under the lamb means that they will absorb the lamb’s seasoning as well as the flavour from the fatty layer.
Slow-cooked lamb with chickpeas and capsicum
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs 10 mins
Soaking/Marinating 1 d
• 200 g dry chickpeas (7oz) or 2 400g/14oz cans of chickpeas
• ½ tsp baking soda
• 2.5 kg large lamb leg pieces (5.5lb) or lamb forequarter pieces
• 2 medium-size red capsicum, 500g/1.1lb or 350g/12oz of roasted peppers
• 2 medium brown onions, peeled and quartered
• 5 garlic cloves, smashed with back of palm and peeled
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 3 tbs dried oregano
• 1 tbs sweet paprika
• 2 tsp cumin
• 2 tbs salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
1. Clean out and wash the dry chickpeas well. Add them in a bowl with the baking soda and enough water to soak as they expand. Allow them to soak for 12-24hrs. If you are using canned chickpeas then the rest of the instructions (soaking and boiling) do not need to be followed.
2. Mix the seasoning in a small bowl and rub it well on the lamb pieces (the lamb pieces should be as large as a small closed fist). Place the lamb covered in the fridge and allow it to marinate for 12-24hrs. That will allow most of the salt to be absorbed in the meat and not released through to the chickpeas when cooking.
3. After that time, wash the chickpeas well and boil them in a pot with 1.5L (1.6qt) of water for 10-15min. Preheat the oven to 170°C (340F) fan-forced. Strain the semi-cooked chickpeas and add them to a large baking dish. Add the capsicum cut into 2cm (0.8in) strips, onions and the smashed whole garlic cloves on top of the chickpeas followed by the lamb pieces.
4. Pour the lemon juice all over the lamb. No water/stock is needed as the lamb releases quite a lot of liquid. Cover the baking dish with some baking paper and two pieces of aluminum foil. Cook for at least 4 hours covered. Then enjoy it warm with a fresh salad and some yoghurt.