I have cooked this mix of ingredients as a roast and as a casserole: it is delicious both ways, according to your cut of meat. To roast, have the butcher remove the blade bone from a shoulder and fill the cavity with the vegetables and seasonings.
Print the recipe here
4 large sticks rhubarb
2 large onions
2 cloves garlic
100g preserved or crystallised ginger
750g diced lamb – leg holds its shape best, shoulder is sweeter
2 tsps Chinese 5 Spice
3-4 tbsp sweet soy sauce
Freshly chopped salad onions and coriander to garnish
1 Finely slice the rhubarb, dice the onions, crush the garlic and finely chop the ginger.
2 Heat a flameproof casserole until hot, add the lamb and cook quickly on all sides to colour. Add the Chinese 5 spice, stir and cook again for 1 minute, then add the prepared ingredients. Cover and cook slowly for 20 minutes, stirring once. This ‘sweating’ will loosen any sediment from the bottom of the pan formed while the meat was browning.
3 Add the soy sauce and 1-2 tbsp syrup if using preserved ginger, plus sufficient water to barely cover the meat. Cover again and simmer for about an hour, until the lamb is tender, or for longer if it suits you (casseroles are so tolerant).
4 Season to taste, either with salt or more soy. Reduce the sauce slightly if necessary by boiling hard after removing the meat from the pan. Return the lamb to the sauce and serve, garnished with onions and coriander.
• If, like me, you had no salad onions or coriander for garnish, then finely sliced raw shallot and chopped parsley will be fine for garnish.
• If your lamb is very lean add 1 tbsp oil to the heated pan before adding the lamb. Usually lamb will have quite enough fat on it to stop it from sticking to the pan.
• It is important not to drown the lamb with water. I baked the casserole in these pictures in the oven and just added hot water from the kettle to barely cover the meat etc once I had transferred it to the ceramic casserole dish – it was all for the photo. Whether you simmer the casserole on the hob or cook it in the oven there is a reduction of the sauce and I find that either way, I seldom need to thicken the sauce as I described in Stage 4.
• To oven bake, allow 1 hour at gas mark 4, 180C.