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Leftover Roast Lamb and Spinach Curry

Being a small town, South Island girl, I grew up on ‘meat and three veg’ and Sunday roasts were as much a part of life as taking a shower!

As a teenager, I can always remember there being cold meat in the fridge to make hearty sandwiches slathered with pickle and cheese for my school lunchbox, however we never really used the leftover meat to make a completely ‘new’ dinner meal. But now, this is what I love the most about roast dinners…the opportunity to create an inventive dish the following day.

I’ve definitely inherited my nana’s thrifty kitchen gene as I’m now an absolute stickler for food waste! Any leftovers are almost always turned into lunch and more often dinner the following night. My husband gets to enjoy one day of cold meat sandwiches before the leftover roast meat is whipped into a dinner. More often than not this ’leftover’ dinner also turns into another lunch. So you can see where I’m going here with this thrifty thing…

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We were lucky enough to source some beautiful organic lamb a few weeks ago so on Monday after a crazy busy weekend, I whipped home during my lunch break to slow roast a lamb shoulder for six hours while I returned to work (I know, I wish I could have stayed home and enjoyed that slow roast aroma too!). The lamb was completely delicious cooked with olives, tomatoes, anchovies and white wine. Served with roasted potatoes and steamed greens it was a simple yet flavoursome roast meal. After dinner, I popped the leftover roast lamb and greens into one container and the leftover roasted potatoes into another (it wouldn’t all fit in one!) and popped them both in the fridge to make this tasty Lamb and Spinach Curry the following night. This recipe is truly one of the best ways to use up leftover roast lamb. It also serves a number of people, making a roast lamb more economical for large families.

If you have any gentleman that are like my dad and are super fussy and think that rice is ‘bird food’ then try this recipe. Even my dad loved it. Which means there’s hope yet! You can quite literally throw in whatever leftovers you have. I used leftover lamb, potatoes, broccoli and courgette, however you could use leftover roast kumara or pumpkin, peas or carrots. It works with just about anything! If all you have is the leftover roast lamb and nothing else, then that’s fine too. Just serve the curry with a side of greens to up the vegetable content.

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Remember to enjoy thrifty roast leftovovers!

Leftover Roast Lamb and Spinach Curry

  • Small chunk of ginger, peeled with a teaspoon and chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 2 brown onions, roughly chopped

  • 2 red chillies, roughly chopped

  • 1 Tbspn olive oil

  • 1 Tbspn ground cumin

  • 1 Tbspn ground coriander

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

  • ~3 cups leftover roast lamb, roughly chopped

  • Leftover vegetables if you have them (i.e. roasted potatoes, steamed peas or beans) – about 2 cups

  • 1 cup lentils (I used Puy lentils but red lentils would be perfect)

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes

  • 2 Tbspn tomato paste

  • Iodised sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 cups spinach, finely chopped (or you could use silverbeet)

To serve:

  • Fresh coriander

  • Thick Greek yoghurt

  • Steamed brown rice

  • Poppadoms (optional)

  1. Put the ginger, garlic and onions into a food processor and whiz to form a paste. Heat the oil in a deep pan or curry pot (I used a pan that I could serve from to save on washing dishes!) and then add the paste, chillies and a pinch of salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant. Add all of the spices and cook for a couple of minutes.

  2. Add the leftover lamb and vegetables if using) and keep stirring until browned. Stir in the lentils, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper and one can of water (I like to fill the tomato can with water to ensure all of the tomato bits aren’t wasted).

  3. Bring the curry to a simmer and then cover and cook over a low/medium heat for about one hour. Check on the curry and stir the mixture frequently adding more water during cooking if necessary.

  4. Add the spinach and cook for another five minutes. Taste and add any additional salt and pepper if needed.

  5. When ready to serve, top the curry with fresh coriander and serve with a small bowl of thick Greek natural yoghurt and steamed brown rice. Poppadoms are fun and crunchy to enjoy with the curry if you have them too!


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