Carne Con Tomate

There’s a hint of chilli heat to tomatoes sweetened by red pepper, enriched with white wine and cooked into a thick sauce that clings to very tender chunks of lamb neck fillet, the dish thickened with chickpeas. It reheats perfectly and is very good over oven chips but healthier with shredded, quickly stir-fried sprouts. I also like it, as you’ll see in the photo, with a generous handful of young spinach leaves stirred in at the end.

Serves 4

Prep: 25 min

Cook: 60 min

800g-1kg lamb neck fillet

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion

1 garlic clove

1 large red pepper

1 kg tomatoes or

2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

generous pinch dried chilli flakes

small glass white wine or generous splash of sherry

400g drained, rinsed chickpeas

100g young spinach leaves

     Boil the kettle. Trim away excess fat and cut the lamb into bite-size pieces. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a spacious, lidded frying pan and when very hot brown the meat in batches, transferring to a plate. Meanwhile, keeping separate piles, halve, peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Finely chop the pepper, discarding stalk and white filament, rinsing away seeds. Pour boiling water from the kettle over the tomatoes, count to 20, drain, cut out the core in a pointed plug shape and swipe off the skin. Chop. Add final 1 tbsp oil to the pan, reduce the heat to medium, stir in the onion with a pinch salt and cook for 5 minutes before adding garlic and pepper. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes until sloppy. Stir in the tomatoes and chilli, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until sloppy and juicy. Add wine and let it bubble for a couple of minutes. Stir in meat, cover, reduce heat and leave to simmer gently for at least 45 minutes until the meat is very tender, the sauce very thick. 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, stir in the chickpeas. Season to taste then stir in the spinach. Keep stirring, the dish is done when the spinach wilts.