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Braised Lamb with Peppers and Tomatoes

Cordero A La Chilindron

The best-known dish from the region of Aragon, this is coloured and flavoured with choricero, a fat dried pepper about 8 cm long. It is mild, yet sweet and rich, and also provides the colour and flavour in chorizo sausages. The sauce should be quite dry - not liquid like a stew. Cook it slowly to reduce and coat the meat.

ingredients

serves 4
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 dried choricero or other mild red chilli, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes
1.5 kg leg of lamb,
meat removed from the bone
and cut into 2.5 cm pieces
1 jar of Spanish roasted peppers, 285 g, drained and coarsely chopped
400 g canned chopped tomatoes
leaves from a small bunch of flat leaf parsley
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a heat-diffusing mat

method

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heatproof casserole, add the onion and garlic and fry for about 7 minutes until soft and just golden. Scrape the flesh from the soaked chilli and mix it into the onions.

2. Transfer to a plate and wipe out the casserole.

3. Heat the remaining oil in the casserole and fry the lamb in batches until golden on all sides. Fold in the onion mixture, the peppers, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and immediately reduce the heat so the surface just gently bubbles. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it sticking (use a heat-diffusing mat for best results). If it looks so thick that it prevents the meat from cooking, stir in a little boiling water to loosen the mixture.

4. Cover and continue cooking for a further 30 minutes until the meat is very tender. Remove from the heat and let rest for about 5 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the parsley leaves.

Variation Cook uncovered in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 for 30 minutes, then cover and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Note If you prefer, instead of dried chilli, use 1 teaspoon hot paprika (pimenton picante) and 2 teaspoons sweet paprika (pimenton dulce).

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