Category Archives: capers

Lamb with tomatoes and capers

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Serves 2 to 4

6oo grams braising lamb (I used rolled pieces of breast of lamb, but lamb shanks would work well)

1 large onion, sliced

3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

300 grams tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped

1 glass white wine

1 tablespoonful capers

2 bay leaves

olive oil, salt, pepper

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Soften the onion in some olive oil in a heavy pan for about 10 minutes.  Turn up the heat briefly and add the pieces of lamb to brown.  Add all the other ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for an hour or and hour and a half, depending on the toughness of the meat.

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Serve with rice and a glass of red wine.

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Baked cuttlefish with capers and potatoes

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Serves 2 – 3

In the markets here in the Languedoc fish stalls commonly sell slices of large cuttlefish, which is what I’ve used in this dish.  You can use smaller cuttlefish if that is what is available in your market or fishmonger.

600 grams cuttlefish, sliced fairly thinly (about 5mm)

400 grams potatoes, boiled and sliced fairly thinly

100 grams green olives, stoned and roughly chopped

1 tablespoonful capers

1 large glass white wine

3 cloves garlic

4 tablespoons breadcrumbs

a sprig of thyme

olive oil

salt, pepper

Heat the cuttlefish in a pan until some of the liquid drains out of the pieces and drain.  Add a little olive oil and the chopped garlic and sauté for a few minutes, then add the wine, bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes.

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In an oiled ovenproof earthenware dish arrange layers of potato and cuttlefish slices, adding the chopped olives and the capers between the layers and seasoning each layer with salt and pepper.

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Pour over the cooking liquid – the mixture of wine, olive oil and liquid from the cuttlefish.  At this stage you can leave the dish ready to put in the oven later, if you wish.  When you are ready for the finishing stage, sprinkle a good layer of breadcrumbs over the top as well as the thyme leaves, then pour a little olive oil over it all.  Bake in the oven at 190 C for about 20 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are brown and crispy.  This is a complete dish so it can be served as it is with some bread to mop up the juices.

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I was inspired to make this dish by a combination of ideas from André Soulier’s bourride recipes in La Cuisine Secrète du Languedoc Roussillon and an Italian recipe for cuttlefish with capers and olives in The Silver Spoon, as always adapted to the ingredients available here in the market and our garden.