1. Warm a deep frying pan (or large pan if you’re cooking it on the hob) for 2 mins, then add the lamb mince – no need for oil. Fry for 8 mins, stirring every so often, breaking up any lumps, till the lamb mince is browned all over.
2. While the mince browns, trim and dice the aubergine into 1cm cubes. Trim and coarsely grate the carrots. From this point on, follow the method either for the slow cooker or the hob.
3. In the slow cooker:
Scoop the mince out of the pan with a slotted spoon. Add it to a 3½ ltr slow cooker. Add the aubergine to the pan and fry for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, till lightly browned then add the aubergine to the lamb in the slow cooker.
4. While the aubergine fries, peel and finely chop the garlic and ginger. Trim the spring onions. Slice off the green tops and set aside for later. Finely slice the white parts. If you’re using the chilli, halve it and scoop out the seeds and white pith (or leave them in for extra heat). Finely chop the chilli.
5. Add the garlic, ginger, white spring onion parts and carrots to the lamb. Add the chopped chilli, if you’re using it. Add 2 tbsp each tamari, balsamic vinegar and brown rice vinegar. Pour in 300ml boiling water. Give everything a really good stir.
6. Pop a lid on the slow cooker, set it to medium and cook for 6 hrs till the mince is tender. For a quicker braise, set the slow cooker to high and cook for 4-5 hrs, or set to low and cook for 8-10 hrs. Stir the lamb a couple of times while it cooks to make sure it all cooks evenly.
7. 20 mins before the lamb is due to be ready, rinse the rice under cold water till the water runs clear. Tip the rice into a pan. Pour in 600ml boiling water from the kettle and add a pinch of salt. Cover. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat right down. Simmer for 8 mins till all the water has been absorbed. Take off the heat. Steam, lid on, for 2-4 mins till the rice is cooked.
8. While the rice cooks, thinly slice the green parts of the spring onions. Zest and juice the lime.
9. Stir the lime juice and zest through the rice, then divide between 4 warm plates. Taste the lamb and add a pinch of salt if you think it needs it. Spoon over the rice and garnish with the spring onion greens to serve.
10. On the hob:
Scoop the mince out of the pan with a slotted spoon and pop it on a plate. Set aside. Add the aubergine to the pan and fry for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, till coloured.
11. Scoop the aubergine out of the pan and pop it on the plate with the lamb. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the pan and add the spring onion whites, garlic and ginger. Add the chilli, if you are using it. Fry on a low heat for 5 mins, stirring every so often, till the spring onions are soft.
12. Stir the grated carrot into the pan and add the lamb mince and aubergine back into the pan.
13. Add 2 tbsp each tamari, balsamic vinegar and brown rice vinegar. Pour in 600ml boiling water. Give everything a really good stir.
14. Pop a lid on the pan and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 40 mins till it thickens a little. Stir every so often to stop the contents of the pan sticking.
15. 20 mins before the lamb is due to be ready, cook the rice following step 5, overleaf. While the rice cooks, thinly slice the green parts of the spring onions. Zest and juice the lime.
16. Stir the lime juice and zest through the rice, then divide between 4 warm plates. Taste the lamb and add a pinch of salt if you think it needs it. Spoon over the rice and garnish with the spring onion greens to serve.
17. Eat & keep tip:
This braise will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Divide the spicy lamb between tubs, cool and then seal and chill or freeze. Defrost it completely before reheating, and make sure it is piping hot all the way through. The rice is best cooked to order. Allow 75g per person and cook it in double the volume of water. So, for 75g rice, cook it for 8 mins in 150ml boiling water. Then steam for a few mins and stir through the lime zest.