One thing I love to do when travelling is visit the local farmer’s markets. There’s always a wide variety of fresh, local produce, unique finds and cheap prices. I also love to cook meals from scratch using good quality ingredients.
On Saturday we made a visit to Cheapside Market in Bridgetown (Barbados’ capital city) to check out the goods, and to see if they had ‘blackbelly lamb.’ A lean cut of lamb that’s popular in Barbados.
The market was legit. It was in a neighborhood called Cheapside, and was bustling with people selling produce, spices, and local honey in old rum bottles. When we first walked in there were a bunch of people singing & dancing – apparently Saturday at Cheapside Market is karoke day (we almost got roped in).
The butcher didn’t disappoint either. We picked up 2lbs of blackbelly lamb, and I made an awesome slow cooked lamb curry on Sunday.
Curry is really popular here, and is usually served up in a dish called roti (curried meat in a corn tortilla). I was saying to John that we could have easily grabbed a couple roti’s to go instead of making the trek to the market. But there’s something I love about making my own meals from scratch. That way I know exactly what’s in my food, and it’s rewarding to eat a meal that you’ve worked hard for. I also love using the slow cooker. I prepped the lamb at 2:30pm and we were able to enjoy the aromas & the anticipation of dinner all afternoon.
Slow Cooker Lamb Curry
2 lbs organic lamb chopped into cubes
1 tbsp coconut or grapeseed oil (higher burning temp than olive oil)
3 medium yellow onions diced
3 large organic carrots sliced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp of fresh ginger minced
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp raw sugar
1 tsp cayenne
1 cup organic vegetable stock*
1 ½ cups of organic, plain, full-fat yogurt
3 cups organic spinach julienned
1 cup brown rice or any whole grain of choice
Fresh mint julienned (optional)
*I buy organic veggie stock cubes. They last much longer than pre-mixed stock, and prevent wastage – I used to always have half-full cartons of stock sitting in my fridge!
Put the lamb in your slow cooker and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt.
Chop onions & carrots and set aside.
Make your flavor blend: in a small bowl, combine the chopped garlic & ginger, and all the spices.
In a large frying pan, heat oil and sauté onions & carrots for 5 minutes. Add flavor blend, stir & combine well, and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove frying pan from heat.
Pour contents of frying pan over the lamb into the slow cooker.
Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. About 30 minutes before you want to eat, cook your brown rice. Stir in fresh mint.
Once lamb is cooked, turn off the heat, and stir in the julienned spinach & yogurt. Once spinach is wilted, serve in bowls over brown rice. Enjoy!
Note: Try to keep your consumption of red meat such as lamb, pork & beef to a minimum (1 meal per week) as its high in saturated fat, which raises bad LDL cholesterol. That being said, red meat is also high in heme iron, which is healthy in small amounts. You can also get your iron (non-heme) from vegetarian sources such as: whole grains, legumes, nuts & seeds, dark green leafy veg and dried fruit – raisins, apricots & dates.