October has arrived and the evenings are starting to grow cooler, so we thought we would try the Lamb and Aubergine stir fry from The Ration Book Diet. Read more to find out how we got on, or click here to read a review of the World War Two recipe book itself.
Traditionally this recipe required mutton, which was more readily available back in the day – as that is no longer the case, the writers recommend using two lamb leg steaks instead, as this is still a lean cut of meat. I hadn’t had lamb leg steak before, but I am now very much converted. It’s really tasty and also works well in a tikka curry.
But anyway, returning to the stir fry, the combination of lamb, aubergine (which I had never actually cooked with before either), olives and tinned tomatoes makes for a really delicious and warming dish, with a bit of a kick to it too thanks to the spices. The recipe suggests half a teaspoon of ‘allspice’, which we substituted with Sainsbury’s Garlic Pepper (if you don’t have this in your spice collection, GET IT).
The recipe also includes a quarter pint of stock, but we found this somewhat unnecessary, as with the juice from the tinned tomatoes it ended up being a bit too ‘soupy’ for our liking. I would recommend skipping the stock, or draining the tinned tomatoes before adding them to the pan.
Finally, the recipe suggests serving with either roasted vegetables or basmati rice. We decided to go with cauliflower rice, which is filling without sitting heavy on your stomach, and also helped to soak up some of the excess liquid!
As you can tell from the pictures, it’s not the most photogenic of dishes, plus the addition of tinned tomatoes means that a 1940s stir fry doesn’t look like the kind we are used to today. But it really does taste great and that’s what’s important. It’s a warming meal that is both easy to make and full of flavour; ideal for chilly nights where you’re late home from work and can’t be dealing with anything complicated.
Full disclosure, the recipe says it serves four, but we shared it between two (I think you’ll forgive us when you see the size of a lamb leg steak).
You can buy a copy of The Ration Book Diet here.
If the Lamb and Aubergine stir fry took your fancy, check out my review of the Baked Sweet Potato with Honey dish here.