Lamb Colombo

A traditional French Caribbean Christmas Stew. Lamb and vegetables cooked in a thick, spicy gravy. The dish can be made up to 2 days in advance and then reheated. In fact, like many stews, it is all the better for being made ahead.
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 1/2 - 2 hours
1 lb/ 450g diced shoulder or leg of lamb
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 pints / 1 litre lamb, chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 lb / 450g sweet potatoes, cubed
1/2 lb / 225 g butternut squash or equivalent, peeled, deseeded and cubed
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
fresh coriander, chopped (optional)

Herbs & Spices
2 tbsp Poudre de Colombo
3/4 tsp Thyme
Cooking Instructions
Trim any excess fat of the lamb pieces. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large casserole dish and brown the meat (do in batches if necessary). Remove the meat and drain the fat from the pan. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil over a medium heat and cook the onions, garlic, ginger and spring onions gently for 5 minutes. Add the Poudre de Colombo and mix well. Fry for 1 minute until fragrant.

Return the meat to the dish along with the thyme, stock and tomato paste. Bring to the boil, then gently simmer for 1 hour until the meat starts to be tender. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning and add the potatoes and squash and continue to cook until for up to another hour. The meat and vegetables should be well done by this stage. Add more stock during cooking if necessary.

Stir in the lime juice just before serving and scatter with fresh coriander if using.