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Hot Braised Lamb with Black Bean Paste and Vegetables
The deep, bowl-shape of the Toughened Non-Stick Wok is ideal for braising. In this recipe pieces of lean lamb are seared in the wok before adding aromatic fresh ginger and garlic. Black bean paste, chilli, soy sauce and a little rice wine are stirred through, water added and the lid placed on to let the ingredients braise slowly until the meat is tender. Fine julienned carrots, water chestnuts, bean sprouts and shredded spring onion are added towards the end of cooking to retain their colour and crispness. Serve with simple boiled rice. Serves six.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1¼ -1½ hours
- 1 tablespoon groundnut or vegetable oil
- 750g lean lamb leg meat, trimmed of fat and diced into 2.5cm pieces
- 70g root ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1½ tablespoons black bean paste
- 1 red chilli, seeds removed and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon Chinese dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine or sherry
- 200-300ml water
- 1 x 150g medium carrot, cut into fine julienne strips
- 1 x 225g can water chestnuts, drained of liquid and halved
- 100g bean sprouts
- 3 spring onions, shredded or chopped
- 1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with 2 tablespoons water
- Small handful fresh coriander, roughly torn, to serve
- Heat the oil in the wok over a medium heat and stir-fry the lamb for 2-3 minutes to sear.
- Add the ginger and garlic and fry for 1 minute, stir in the black bean paste, chilli, soy sauce, rice wine/sherry and stir-fry for 1 minute more.
- Add just enough water to barely cover the meat (approximately 250 ml), stir well and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a very low simmer, put on the lid and cook for 1-1¼ hours or until the meat is tender.
- Stir in the shredded carrot, water chestnuts, bean sprouts and spring onions, replace the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are cooked but still vibrant and crisp. Add the cornflour and water mixture and stir until the sauce has thickened.
- Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve scattered with some roughly torn coriander and an accompaniment of boiled rice.
- Black bean paste is a concentrate and should not be confused with black bean cooking or stir-fry sauces. These pastes can vary in heat and salt content so always best to taste before adding more seasoning. To make your own paste, crush 1½ tablespoons Chinese salted black beans with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon caster sugar into a coarse paste.
- For extra heat add the seeds from the chilli.
- Allowing the meat to come to room temperature for a short while before frying will help the searing process.