Love Your Leftovers Recipe: Lamb and Mint Cous Cous

Love Your Leftovers Recipe: Lamb and Mint Cous Cous

Lamb and mint couscousFrom Love Your Leftovers, check out the full book here!

What I love about this recipe is how easily it turns Sunday lunch into Monday’s lunchbox. If you have some leftover gravy, heat it up and add it to the liquid or stock you use to cook the couscous. I’ve added carrots and peas, but you can be pretty inventive with what you throw in – if it tasted good with your roast dinner, it’ll taste good in your couscous too. I season this with a dollop of mint sauce or jelly, and stir in some perky herbs too, to add freshness. SERVES 2 AS A MAIN COURSE, 4 AS A LIGHT LUNCH

150g couscous or barley couscous

300ml hot water or stock (see page 28) and/or gravy, if you have it (or the amount of liquid specified on the couscous packet)

1–2 tablespoons olive oil, plus an extra splash for the dressing

1–2 tablespoons mint sauce or jelly

Finely grated zest and juice of ½ lemon

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

100g roast lamb, diced

100g cooked peas

100g cooked carrots, diced

Small handful of mint, parsley and/or coriander leaves, roughly chopped or torn, plus extra leaves to finish

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

To prepare the couscous, put it into a bowl, add the hot water or stock and olive oil, then cover and leave to soak for a short time, according to the packet instructions.

When the couscous is swollen and tender, add the mint sauce or jelly, lemon zest and juice, and sprinkle on the ground spices. Fork the couscous gently to fluff it up and combine it with the seasonings.

Add the lamb, vegetables and herbs and toss gently to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper, a little more lemon if you like, and a splash of olive oil.

Serve in bowls, scattered with extra herb leaves.

Tips and swaps

Fruity couscous and lamb Add a small handful of dried fruits such as raisins, barberries or chopped unsulphured apricots. First soak the fruit in hot water or tea for about 10 minutes to plump it up a bit, then drain before stirring it into the couscous.

Minted quinoa and lamb Use quinoa in place of the couscous.

Swap the meat This dish gives a good second life to roast meats other than lamb – try it with chicken, beef or pork.

 

Recipes & images taken from River Cottage: Love Your Leftovers by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury.

To purchase a copy of Love Your Leftovers click here

 

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          Synopsis

          Love Your Leftovers is for anyone who loves food but abhors waste. And it’s perfect for this festive time of year – we don’t need to feel guilty come Boxing Day when the fridge is groaning with leftovers; all we need is a little inspiration.

          River Cottage chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is already well known for his sustainable philosophy around food. Now he breaks it down step-by-step in what will undoubtedly become a classic of household management.

          Though many of us may already have some thrifty tricks to waste less, especially if we took tips from parents or grandparents who grew up through war or hardship, there’s no doubt that we’ve lost our way when it comes to managing food waste. Most of us will have heard the shocking statistics – it’s estimated that the average Australian household wastes more than $1000 worth or 345 kilograms of food a year!

          Love Your Leftovers is about exciting recipes to help you make use of all your food, but it’s about general kitchen and household management too – shopping, storing, cooking – that will save precious time and money.

          Fearnley-Whittingstall encourages us not to think of each meal as a self contained unit, but as more of a chain – ‘ a daisy chain of deliciousness’ he calls it – with one great meal leading to a series of equally tasty other meals.

           The recipes are about using every part of the food – potato peel, fish skin, bones, wilting greens – with only the bare minimum making it to the compost and much less to the bin. Some have gloriously made-up names, such as Middle Eastern-inspired lamb and chickpea thing-in-a-pan and Rissotover.

          He advises planning leftovers and even doubling or tripling up when cooking so that every meal can be turned into more meals throughout the week – Sunday’s stew “gains a pastry lid and becomes Tuesday’s pie” or a Bolognese, “with kidney beans and spices, becomes chili con carne.”

          It’s packed full of handy tips to get you in the habit of effortlessly using leftovers –“Winging it with what’s to hand can be so liberating,” he says. It’s user-friendly and flexible, with lots of recommendations for substitutions so if you don’t have one ingredient you can easily use another, helping you to be even more opportunistic.

          The book addresses some key issues around using leftovers such as use-by-dates and food safety. It’s well laid out, with each chapter taking us through all those frequently occurring leftovers – FOLs – including bread, fruit, rice, meat, fish, and dairy. And there’s a whole section dedicated entirely to exciting Christmas leftovers.

          “It’s those seat-of-the-pants, spur-of-the-moment dishes, rustled up from odds and ends loitering in the fridge or cupboards, that often bring me the greatest pleasure,” says Fearnley-Whittingstall. Now the Christmas leftovers can be even more exciting than Christmas dinner itself.

           

          Recipes & images taken from River Cottage: Love Your Leftovers by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury.

          Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
          About the author

          Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

          Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a writer, broadcaster and campaigner. His series for Channel 4 have earned him a huge popular following, while his River Cottage books have collected multiple awards including the Glenfiddich Trophy and the André Simon Food Book of the Year. Hugh's additional broadcasting, like the hugely influential Fish Fight, has earned him a BAFTA as well as awards from Radio 4, the Observer and the Guild of Food Writers. Hugh lives in Devon with his family. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/author/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall/#sthash.0LdvEc7N.dpuf

          Books by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

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