Like many families, mine consist of two working parents, and two small children. Both myself and hubby have demanding jobs with irregular hours, and our days can change at the drop of a hat. More often than not we end up working late, or at least later than what we thought we would, and as Murphy will have it, those will be the days that both of us forgot to take something out of the freezer for dinner (oh yes because all of you buy fresh every day, so don’t judge – we buy on special, in bulk and when we have time, and that is why we have our friend the freezer. Plus fresh meat tend to go off in our fridge; Murphy is very busy in my household. When I have fresh meat in the fridge we always get invited over for dinner).
So this recipe was born one night out of sheer desperation. The quick browning and slow cooking is very forgiving to frozen lamb chops, the sauce will keep them from drying out before they are cooked and the acid in the tomatoes ensures a tender end product. Basically the only work that you need to do is quickly chop up the veggies and fry them, then the oven does the rest. You can even cheat here by using frozen mixed country veg – extra green veg won’t hurt! This leaves your hands free to take care of the kids.
An added bonus? The dish is low carb, low sugar and super healthy. To make the entire meal low carb substitute the couscous for cauli-rice or cauli-mash; if you are trying to only eat sugar-free you can substitute with sweet potato mash or even whole wheat couscous.
One-pot wonder Lamb with beans and feta
A quick and easy dish for those nights that you need to get dinner going while consoling your toddler, feeding the baby and praying that hubby hurries up and come home….
- 50ml olive oil
- 50g butter
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 5g origanum
- 5g salt
- 2g black pepper, freshly ground
- 800g lamb chops
- 200ml red wine
- 200ml chicken stock
- 200g green beans, top and tail’ed
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds
- 1 can red kidney beans, well drained
- 1 can chopped tomatoes or 4 fresh tomatoes chopped finely
- 1 bay leaf
- 100g feta
- 1 lemon
- 20g fresh basil
- Couscous (prepare according to the package instructions)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C, oven rack in the middle of the oven.
- Pour the oil and butter into an oven-proof dish and heat on the stove till very hot. Quickly fry the onions and chopped garlic till the onions are soft and translucent. Add the origanum.
- Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper, then add the chops and brown them on both sides. Remove from the heat.
- Take out the lamb chops, then quickly add the red wine to the still hot pan to deglaze.
- Add the chicken stock, green beans, and carrots. Place the lamb chops on top of this mixture.
- Pour over the tomatoes, and red kidney beans, and add the bay leave.
- Bake in the oven for 20min or until the chops are tender.
- To serve, squeeze fresh lemon juice over, crumble and sprinkle the feta as well as the basil leaves on top.
- Serve on couscous.
This dish can easily be made in a slow cooker, and you don’t even need to fry the onions or brown the meat beforehand! Simply add all the ingredients except the feta and basil, and use the automatic setting so that the slow cooker can regulate its own temperature. When you are ready to eat, crumble the feta on top, add the basil leaves and serve! This is especially helpful if you only have mutton chops, or even if you want to substitute the chops with a cheaper cut such as mutton stew.