(GREAT FOOD, GREAT WINE, GREAT PEOPLE!)
This weekend we had a little Spanish themed get together in the park with some of our favourite foodies and winos. Each brought a Spanish inspired dish and matching wine/s to share. It was a recipe for an incredible day.
But as I began thinking about what to cook, I realised I know very little about Spanish food. I know I love to eat it… particularly those gorgeous tapas morsels that arrive in front of me when downing a glass of Cava at the Spanish bar down the road. But it dawned on me that I’ve never cooked it. What spices, herbs and flavours are traditionally Spanish and what would be an easy, tasty crowd pleaser that I could cook before the party and unveil for all to tuck into?
So I started with the obvious… Paprika, tomato, sherry… tick, tick, tick! Then I moved onto the protein that I’d like to eat with it. Lamb of course! So here’s the recipe, with a little wine match to boot so you can get your Spanish on too. Buen apetito!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 leg of lamb (bone in) 2kg
2 Spanish onions, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 bay leaves
1 packet fresh thyme, picked
2 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tin crushed tomatoes
600ml dry sherry
750ml beef stock
3 tins chickpeas, rinsed & drained
500g selection of vine ripened tomatoes
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 160C. Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a casserole dish over a high heat. Brown the lamb on all sides and remove from dish. Add the onion, celery, garlic, bay leaves, half the thyme and spices and cook over a low heat until the onion is translucent and the spices have released their aroma. Add the tinned tomatoes and beef stock and mix. Place the lamb back into the dish and pour 500ml sherry over the top. Bake for 4 hours, or until tender.
Place tomatoes in an ovenproof dish, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, top with the rest of the thyme and season. Roast covered with foil for half an hour.
When the lamb is cooked, removed from the dish and keep warm. Place the casserole on the stove and reduce the vegetable and tomato mixture until thick, but still saucy. Add the rest of the sherry and the chickpeas and stir to warm through. Add the lamb back to the dish, top with the roasted tomatoes and fresh thyme leaves.
OUR MATCH: Try it with a Spanish or Australian Tempranillo… an easy drinking, rich, fruity, earthy red.
Grab a copy of our book “In Search of the Perfect Partner (The Food & Wine Matching Formula)” for more recipes and wine matches, hints and tips!