Here is a quick one-pan dish for a summer's evening
Lamb and feta work together in so many ways. Crumble the cheese over grilled cutlets; make a feta cream to serve with lamb fillet; spread creamed feta on a lamb sandwich...
Dice 300g of lamb shoulder into very small cubes, no bigger than 1 cm in diameter. Warm a thin film of oil in a nonstick frying pan and add the lamb. Brown nicely on all sides. Add 2-3 tablespoons of ras el hanout and fry briefly. Drain a 400g can of chickpeas and tip them into the lamb. Let the lamb and chickpeas cook for five minutes, until the peas are thoroughly hot, then add a generous squeeze of lemon, a handful of shredded mint leaves and a little black pepper. No salt. Crumble 200g of feta into the lamb and stir briefly, then tip on to plates or into bowls and serve with a little crisp salad.
If you buy ready-cubed lamb, cut the pieces into smaller dice. The cooking time here is short. Leg or shoulder cuts are best for this. If you want something even leaner, use a lamb fillet. Like garam masala, ras el hanout spices are already roasted, so there is no need to cook them for long after adding them to the lamb.
Sweet and mild ras el hanout spice mix is available from large supermarkets and Middle Eastern grocers, but you could use garam masala for a change. You could make this recipe with beef, too, though a lean cut would be best. A few rocket leaves, added to the pan when the chickpeas go in, is a sound idea, but not spinach, which will produce too much liquid.
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Nigel Slater: 'Adding rocket leaves when the chickpeas go in is a sound idea.' Above: his lamb, chickpea and feta recipe. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer