A real meat-eating boy’s dish, these spicy stuffed potatoes are hearty and a great example of comfort food. They’re delicate yet rich and based on a Persian dish. The dish is almost like an upside-down eastern shepherd’s pie… though, of course, a glorified version. There’s nothing better than mince and potatoes together. This is an economical dish to make if you are on a budget, and a new way to use minced meat.
Spicy stuffed potatoes
- 4 large potatoes of similar size
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more to fry the potatoes
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 225g minced lamb
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
- freshly ground black pepper
- 300ml tomato juice
- 200ml beef stock
- ½ tsp castor sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut a small slice from the base to stop them wobbling around, then remove a ‘lid’ from the top and set aside. Hollow out the potatoes with a melon baller, creating a shell about 1cm thick. Discard the potato pulp.
Heat some oil in a skillet until hot and brown the potatoes and their lids. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
In a separate pan, heat the 4 tbsp of oil until hot and add the onions. Sauté until the onions are soft, then add the garlic and continue to cook for a minute. Now add the minced lamb and cook until the meat is browned all over. Stir in the tomato purée along with half the cinnamon and allspice. Mix thoroughly and continue to cook for several minutes. Now add the herbs, eggs, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
Fill the potatoes with the stuffing, replace the tops, then arrange the potatoes in an ovenproof dish. Mix together the tomato juice, stock, remaining cinnamon and allspice, sugar and seasoning to taste. Pour the mixture around the potatoes, cover and bake in the oven for about an hour, or until tender, basting occasionally with the juice. Adjust the seasoning and serve with flat bread, fresh herbs and Persian pickles.