I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.


Gluten and lactose are not my friends.


Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.


I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

April 30, 2012

Lamb and Plum Stew






The other day,
BigJ bought me home a present.








Most wives get maybe a bunch of flowers, box of chocolates, even some perfume.... I got a bag of prunes.

A big bag.

He assures me he didn't just see a bag of prunes and think of me, or that he thought I may need some intestinal toning, but that he purposely went looking for a treat that would make me happy.

I guess that makes it better.


He's right actually. If he had bought me chocolates I would have been a bit frustrated as I'm trying to lose weight, if he bought flowers I would have been touched but I'd rather he got me a punnet of seedlings, if he bought me perfume.... well, he learnt the hard way about me and my itching, sneezing, puffing, perfume InTolerances. And I do love prunes. So sweet and soft, perfect with yoghurt, cereals, cheese, hard fruits, on their own for a snack, or cooked up with savoury ingredients for a tagine, casserole or stew. What's not to love?


Littlej has been reading the Hunger Games Trilogy. She is a rather reluctant reader, preferring little bites of reading than sitting down and devouring a whole novel at once. She had heard lots about the books from her school mates, and the movie had rave reviews too, so we made a deal- if she read the whole book, I would take her to the movie. I knew that may not win out over her dyslexia reading reluctance, but she did it! And then begged me for the rest of the series too! I bought them the next day, and of course we went to the movie as well.
As further encouragement, I decided to use some of my stash of prunes in a Lamb and Plum Stew as mentioned in the Hunger Games. The heroine loved it, and I figured as the book had already influenced littlej in reading and hairstyle (we are now braiding it like Katniss) maybe it would help with eating the prunes as well, as littlej has never been a fan of any dried fruit either.



Lamb and Plum Stew
















1kg lamb, cubed
2 onions
1/2 lemon
Garlic
Coriander bunch
1/2 cup Honey
1 tab ground Coriander seeds
1 tab ground Cumin
Prunes
Carrots
Pumpkin
1/2 cup toasted Pinenuts
Oil


Cut the lamb into nice big cubes. I used lamb leg as its nice and chunky and works out much cheaper to do it yourself than buying it pre chopped

Cut the stems off the bunch of coriander, and roughly chop the lemon, one of the onions and as many cloves of garlic as you prefer- I used four
















Throw them all into a blender with a pinch of salt and about 1 tablespoon of oil
















Blend to a nice smooth paste
















Mix the lamb and paste together and let it marinate for a couple of hours to let the flavours develop

















Scrape most of the paste off the meat- but save it, then brown the lamb in batches in a bit of oil
















Sweat off the onion in a splash of oil, and when it starts to go translucent add in the other veggies and the cumin and coriander. I had these gorgeous little carrots from the garden, and some home grown pumpkin to use up as well- lucky me!
















Coat them nicely in the oil and spices, then put back in the lamb and reserved marinade paste

















Pop in the prunes and honey, and season with salt and pepper, stir well and add in a small amount of water- I used about 1/2 a cup

















Put the lid on your pot, bring to the boil, then simmer for about an hour and a half or until the meat is meltingly tender and soft. Don't forget to stir now and then so it doesn't stick

















Check your stew for seasoning and honey sweetness, adding a bit more if you need too. Thicken up with some arrowroot if a bit runny, but it should have cooked down nicely

















Sprinkle your meal with toasted pine nuts and coriander leaves for an extra burst of flavour and freshness and to make it look pretty.

I served our stew on some cooked quinoa to match in with the grain it was served with in the book. And the verdict? littlej loved it too, and has dibbsed the leftover for tonights dinner as well. What more could I ask for!

















So Dear Readers, are you a fan of the humble Prune, and did any novels influence you when you were younger?











.

32 comments:

  1. Delicious! I think the humble prune gets such a bad rap - rather unfortunate as they are delish!

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    1. So right Lisa, let's start a prune re-vival!

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  2. Absolute win! Cleansing, romantic and an incentive all in one! Ingenius!

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    1. That's it Msihua! What's not too love? :)

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  3. I love prunes and cook with them often. I think they'd go so well in this lamb dish. At least your son brought you home something useful - I've had many an atrocious gift from those Mother's Day Stalls they set up at the kids schools xx

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    1. I do have a good hubby, don't I Charlie Louie? I have some doozies as well from those stalls, all wrapped up and put carefully away out of sight for 'safety' as they are so 'precious' :P

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  4. This looks delicious! I love prunes - they are great in stuffings too.

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    1. Oh yes Ina, particularly with pork, yummo!

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  5. I love prunes too, and reading... I'm currently reading the Game of Thrones series...

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    1. Reading, with a little cat curled up at your feet Janet! Wait until I finish my new library room, I'll send you pictures!

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  6. I made a version of this after reading the books. It's a great series isn't it?! :D

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    1. I saw yours and it was so yummy!
      The books are just great and I was so happy they broke through littlej's reading blockage. She always goes for great books like Dr Carls Facts and other technical tomes, but I want her to see the other side of books through her imagination as well.

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  7. you're such a good mum. & your daughter clearly has exceptional taste to bags the leftovers ;) This dish is one of my absolutely favourites. We had the best versions in morocco. I was obsessed with the tomorrow when the war began series in year 7!
    Heidi xo

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    1. Thanks Heidi! She must take after me :P Morrocan food is so awesome isn't it? MiddleC was too!

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  8. Delicious, and love that BigJ bought you prunes as a gift. What a guy! Your baby carrots look so cute!

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    1. I thinks he's a keeper Celia!
      I was excited how they came up multi coloured like that, I've planted heaps more for spring too.

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  9. I think that is really sweet that he bought you prunes :) And this recipe sounds devine!

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  10. Now that the weather is cooling down it is becoming perfect for this type of meal. The addition of the plums has got me imagining all of these flavours together. Sounds delightfully satisfying.

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    1. Thanks Sherilyn, it certainly is cooling down, we had minus 4* last night! Just the type of meal to stick-to-your-ribs :)

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  11. I think I'm slightly scarred by prunes. The look tres bad in the this though. You might just have swayed me :)

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    1. I hope so Nic, I don't want you missing out on such yumminess! Putting them in with savory dishes is a good way to re-introduce them- hopefully without too much trauma :)

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  12. MMM,...what a lovely lamb stew! i love stews & prunes a lot & here in Belgium there is a famous stew with rabbit & prunes. I love that too! :)

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    1. That sounds just lovely Sophie, what a great combination indeed :)

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  13. ive never made a stew before, but gosh that looks nice and warm for this cold day!!

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    1. Never! Oh dear, Dolly, that's gotta change soon sweetie :) Such easy meals! Let me know how you go if you try one out :)

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  14. I absolutely love the sound of this! What a creative little stew :) A crowd pleaser I'm sure!

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    1. Hey Cass, thanks! Well we all liked it anyway :)

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  15. The lamb stew looks perfectly done and must be so delicious.

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    1. Thanks Tigerfish, I was pretty pleased with it, so was littlej :)

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  16. I adore prunes and love them with lamb. This is a lovely dish, thanks so much , Bec. (I especially love the crossed carrots - maybe a new family emblem?)

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  17. Wow, this looks wonderful! Definitely something I'd love! :D

    I've always had (and still have) phases when I read a lot, but I've never been a constant reader. Nowadays, it mostly depends on outer constraints (time and whether I have to read a lot for my studies anyway), but when I find a really good book I read it within a few days. My mom has just lent me the Hunger Games books which are what I want to read next. I've seen the movie two weeks ago and liked it very much, so I'm looking forward to reading the books very much.

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