If there is such a thing as an overall nostalgic family dish, then this must be it. This peasant-style stew is easy to make. Here the most important ingredient is time because to braise means to alternate the cooking methods between a sauté and a slow, long simmer using just a little fat and liquid. You can use any lamb cut, but do use a cut with the bone in. For example shoulder chops, as the bone renders a lot of flavour. With such basic ingredients, as in this recipe, you do not want to lose any flavour. The simpler the dish, the more flavour you need to get from its humble ingredients.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and brown the meat in batches and set aside.
Sauté the onions until golden then add the sugar and curry powder and fry briefly. Add the cabbage and vinegar (and a little more oil if necessary) and braise until the cabbage is golden and translucent.
Return the meat to the pan and sauté with the onion and cabbage for a few minutes.
Now add the bay leaves, tomato sauce and half of the stock. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover the saucepan and simmer on very low for 45 minutes or longer until the meat is tender enough to your liking. Check it regularly and if it cooks just dry, sauté it a little first before adding a little more stock.
Once the meat is tender enough to your liking, you can add any remaining stock if you like a saucy dish. Bring it to a boil and then thicken it with a paste made from the optional melted butter and cake flour, also known as a roux.
Once you are happy with the tenderness of the meat and sauciness of the dish, season to taste and remove the bay leaves.
Serve with fluffy boiled potatoes and a simple tomato and cucumber salad.
Serves 6 – 8.