WHAT: Clever view finders act as illustrated menus for food-curious minis.
WHERE: Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver, Marina Pavillion, Festival City, Dubai.
WHY WE’RE FFF’ING LOVING IT: It’s cosy, rustic and welcoming. The minis are swept up in the Jaimie-ness of it all and are rewarded with quirky viewfinder menus and bottomless cups of green cordial. Entertained, distracted and slightly loopy from all the cordial, the adults are left in peace to indulge in an authentic Italian menu and enjoy a Pinot or 2.
IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT TO JAMIE’S: As a little nod to the spicy, pomegranate sprinkled UAE, FFF gives you her fave Jamie recipe - Spicy lamb with walnuts and pomegranates. The minis dig it too. Enjoy xx
Spiced Lamb with walnuts and pomegranate
• 750g roasting shoulder joint of lamb, boneless
• 2 tablespoons plain flour
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• olive oil
• 1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
• 4 sticks of celery, trimmed and finely sliced
• 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
• 1/2 a stick of cinnamon
• 100g walnuts, chopped
• 2 bay leaves
• 6 pomegranates
• a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Cut the lamb into thumb-sized cubes. Spike the flour with a teaspoon of sea salt and black pepper. Toss the lamb cubes in the seasoned flour.
Heat a large pan and pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil starts to smoke, add as many lamb pieces as will fit in one layer, cover with a lid and cook for a few minutes until soft and browned evenly. Remove from the pan, then repeat with the remaining cubes until they are all browned. Return all the lambto the pan and turn the heat down.
Add the onion, celery, garlic, cinnamon, walnuts and bay leaves to the pan. Put the lid back on and cook very gently for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan, until the onion is softened.
Cut you pomegranates in half and ease out a few of the seeds and put to one side. Juice them as you would an orange or lemon. You should end up with about 500ml of juice. (If you can’t find pomegranates, shop-bought cranberry juice works well instead.) Stir the juice into the lamb and top up with water to cover. Simmer very gently for 1½ hours, or until the lamb is tender, adding a little water now and then if the stew gets dry.
Remove and discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Season to taste and sprinkle with the parsley and reserved pomegranate seeds. Lovely served with steaming hot saffron rice.