I was pondering on what to cook for us this evening when my friend E said she was doing a dish I made for her and her husband earlier this year. Perfect reminder. Lamb with orzo is one of those fabulously easy one-pot wonders which is delicious either pared down to the simplest version or zhuzhed up with extra bits and bobs. In this version I have added some spinach, button chestnut mushrooms and a diced courgette. This is clearly in the interests of keeping the washing up to a minimum while meeting our daily veg quotient. However, it is still completely delicious without any additions if you prefer.
Orzo is a small pasta shape which looks a bit like large grains of rice and is relatively easy to find in the supermarket. Any smallish pasta shape will work if you can’t find it. This amount serves two of us extremely well with some leftover.
You will need:
400g diced lamb
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp hot smoked paprika (if you don’t like spicy heat you can use sweet smoked paprika instead)
1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
1 tin of tomatoes (I used tinned cherry tomatoes)
1 lamb stock cube
1 tsp dried oregano
A few sprigs of mint, leaves removed and shredded but keep the stalks
250g orzo pasta
100g Feta cheese
Heat a little oil in a large pan and sear the diced lamb on all sides, a few pieces at a time. When nicely browned remove to a plate with a slotted spoon. When all the lamb is done add the onions to the pan and allow to soften. As they start to turn golden add the chopped garlic, chopped rosemary and cinnamon sticks and stir.
Return the lamb to the pan, add the tin of tomatoes, paprika, oregano, mint stalks, a few twists of black pepper and a tomato tin of water.
Bring everything up to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer gently until the lamb is completely tender. Approximately and hour and 15 minutes.
Stir in the orzo, bring back to a very gentle simmer and cook for about 15 mins or until the orzo is cooked to your liking. You will need to stir regularly to stop the pasta sticking to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the shredded mint leaves.
Serve with the Feta cheese crumbled over the top.