Our shoulder of lamb that we made for Easter left us with some leftover lamb, but what could we do with it? We rather like the challenge of what to do with leftovers, and it so happened that we had a lamb pilaf recipe clipped from an old food magazine that specified “lamb leftovers” – so why not? We didn’t stick to the recipe in its entirety, though, as we made our own stock using the bones and the leftover jus (plus parsley and, in order to give it some colour, the skin of the onion that we chopped up for the recipe) rather than using stock cubes as the recipe advised.
Pilaf works on a similar principle to risotto – the rice is cooked in a stock or broth, usually with everything else in the same pan. This one-pot meal (or variants thereof) can be found cuisines all over the world, from the Balkans to Central and South Asia as well as East Africa and Latin America.
Our recipe was fairly simple - we fried an onion (chopped) in a large pan, and once that was translucent we added garlic (two cloves, chopped) and some spices (two cloves, four crushed cardamom pods, a teaspoon of turmeric and a cinnamon stick). To this were added around 300g of leftover lamb, 250g of basmati rice (brown basmati in this particular case) and the stock we’d made (around 900ml). This was brought to the boil and the simmered until the rice was more-or-less ready. This was enough for three portions (we’d more or less halved the recipe), so in the event we even had leftovers of the leftovers!