October is towards the end of the season for plum tomatoes, but there were still a few left on our plants last weekend, and glasshouse-grown aubergines* are still around.
This lamb casserole is good on a fine autumn day, warming but not too heavy. Serves 2.
Lamb with tomatoes and aubergines
8 oz (approx 250 g) lamb (I usually use leg or shoulder, and sometimes use leftover cooked lamb from a roast)
12 oz (approx 350 g) aubergines
12 oz (approx 350 g) tomatoes
Half an onion
1 Tablespoon (approx 1 x 15 ml spoon) plain flour
1 Tablespoon (approx 1 x 15 ml spoon) red wine or cooking sherry
1 Tablespoon (approx 1 x 15 ml spoon) chopped fresh basil (or half the amount of dried basil)
1 Tablespoon (approx 1 x 15 ml spoon) chopped fresh sage or rosemary (or half the amount of dried)
0.25 pint (approx 150 ml) water or stock
Cut the aubergines into slices approx 0.5 inch (approx 1 cm) thick. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes or so.
Remove any bones from the lamb and cut into pieces about 0.5 inch (approx 1 cm) square.
Peel and chop the onion.
Slice the plum tomatoes into slices about as thick as the aubergine.
Fry the lamb and onion in cooking oil in a heatproof casserole dish until browned.
Stir in the flour and mix well so the flour coats the meat and onion. Pour in the stock or water. Bring to the boil and stir until thickened. Stir in the red wine or sherry and the chopped sage or rosemary, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove from the heat.
Arrange the tomato slices in a layer on top of the lamb and onion mixture, and sprinkle with chopped basil.
Rinse the aubergine slices in cold water and pat dry using kitchen towel. Arrange the aubergine slices in an overlapping layer on top of the tomatoes.
Cover the casserole and cook in the oven at approx 170 C for about 1 hour if using leftover cooked lamb or about 1.5 – 2 hours if using fresh lamb. Baste the aubergine slices with the cooking juices (or turn them over if that’s easier) about halfway through cooking so the top surface of the aubergine doesn’t dry out.
Serve with rice or potatoes.
*Aubergines are also called eggplants