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We are friends who love making simple food look beautiful. We hope our recipes will inspire you to get into the kitchen this season. Aoife McElwain works in front of the camera writing the recipes and styling the food, while Mark Duggan works behind the camera to make sure it all looks as delicious as possible. We work with editors such as Killian Broderick and music supervisors like Nialler9 to make sure that our finished videos look and sound as smart as possible. We work with brands like Glenisk and Folláin to help them create delicious video content for their online platforms. When we're not making videos, we write a weekly column called Speedy Suppers on Thursdays in The Irish Independent. Aoife writes the recipes and styles the food while Mark takes the photographs.  
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25 Mar Leftover Lamb Pilaf

Do you have plans to cook a leg or shoulder of lamb for Easter this weekend? I know I do, and I also know I’ll be happy to have the leftovers for a speedy supper next week. Some of the best lamb I’ve ever tasted was on Achill Island, courtesy of The Carvey Family. Their Achill Mountain Lamb are Mayo Blackface Mountain lambs raised on a natural diet of herbs, heathers, grasses, mosses and lichens. Their free-roaming existence and life on the side of wind-swept mountains means their meat is deeply flavourful. You can order their lamb, and find out the restaurant and butchers that the family supply, online at www.calveysachillmountainlamb.ie.

Technically, a pilaf is a rice that is cooked in a seasoned broth. Being a speedy supper, this recipe is more of a cheat’s pilaf. I’ve cooked the rice using my tried and tested foolproof method. You throw everything in the pan and let it cook, covered. I think it’s the five-minute steaming time that makes this recipe such a success. I use this method every time I reach for basmati, sometimes adapting or omitting the spices used in relation to the overall recipe.

I’ve included some lovely caramelized onions cooked with cumin to complement the lamb, and I’ve topped it all off with some natural yogurt, pomegranate and mint. The Persian-influenced flavours of this recipe go really well with leftover roasted lamb meat, and make it really easy to enjoy lamb for a second day in a row.

 Leftover Lamb Pilaf

Serves 2

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

175g of basmati rice

25g butter

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 teaspoon of turmeric

Cinnamon stick

250ml water

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 onion

Half a teaspoon of cumin seeds

6 large slices of leftover roast lamb

4 tablespoons of natural yoghurt

Half a pomegranate

Handful of fresh mint

Handful of almonds

Method

  1. Make the rice by placing the rice, butter, sugar, turmeric and cinnamon stick in a saucepan with 250ml of water. The water should be at room temperature. Bring to the boil and give everything a good mix before covering and simmer for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat, keep covered and leave to steam for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, fluff up with a fork and then leave covered in the warm saucepan until ready to serve.
  1. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Peel and finely slice the onion. Add the onion and the cumin seeds to the frying pan, and gently cook for 10 minutes, until the onion is golden and cooked through.
  1. Add the leftover lamb slices to the frying pan with the onions so that they heat through. Before serving, you can shred or slice them into smaller pieces if you like.
  1. Mix one tablespoon of water into the natural yogurt, so that it has a runny consistency.
  1. Remove the seeds from the pomegranate half. Finely chop the fresh mint. Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan.
  1. Serve the rice topped with fried onions and leftover lamb slices. Drizzle with the natural yogurt. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds, fresh mint and toasted almonds.

Storecupboard Essential : Cinnamon Sticks

A jar of cinnamon sticks will keep in your cupboard for ages. I love breaking them in half and throwing them into rice dishes and stews, to add fragrance rather than heat. I like the Ausrian SonnentoR range of organic spices and dried herbs (en.sonnentor.com).

This recipe first appeared in The Irish Independent on March 24th 2016

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