Friday night and I cooked for Homebaked. It was an evening for providing some good food and drink to the people who give up their time to work in the bakery and those that like to come in and say hello.
I was able to get most of what I needed for the cooking from either the veg shop on Oxton Road or The International Store a few doors down.
I was unsure of both the numbers and exactly how the cooking could be done on the night so it seemed like a good idea to make a vast pot of stew and then have some couscous, salad and bread to go with it.
I found a recipe for Lamb Harira which could easily be doubled up and then doubled up again to feed the masses.
I started last weekend first by soaking overnight and then boiling for an hour or so a couple of kilo of dried chickpeas. Having cooked them I kept the water they had been boiled in.
Monday evening I bought two legs of lamb from The International Store which had been cubed into bite sized chunks. That was all put into a couple of large plastic containers to marinade overnight in a mixture of grated ginger, garlic, bay leaves, onions, paprika, cinnamon, and turmeric.
Tuesday night I cooked the lamb, browning it first over a high heat in a wok and then tipping it into a very large pot. Once the lamb was browned I covered it with white wine, tomatoes and the water from cooking the chickpeas. It was all brought to a simmer before I tipped in half a packet of brown lentils and half of the chickpeas. The other half of the chickpeas were mashed up and then tipped in as well to thicken the sauce. It then took a couple of hours to cook through before being cooled down and stored in a cold fridge to mature for a couple of days.
Thursday night I made the veggie alternative harira which was more or less the same as the lamb harira but without the lamb. Clever stuff!
Friday afternoon I made a basin of tomato salad. A box of plum tomatoes from the veg shop chopped into rough quarters, mixed with a couple of sliced red onions, pomegranate seeds and molasses, olive oil, dill and chopped walnuts.
At the same time I made the couscous pouring the dried grains into large metal bowls, placing a large pat of butter in the middle, pouring over boiling water and then covering up with clingfilm for ten minutes and then fluffing up the grains with a fork and seasoning with salt pepper and parsley
That evening I heated the stews through on the range in the Homebaked bakery and then took them in the back of the car to the venue where I think they went down okay.