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Minimal effort, maximum taste: the best packed lunch recipes

These exciting, delicious dishes are cheaper than chips… and healthier, too!
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Tender Spiced Lamb

Tender Spiced Lamb

Moist, flavoursome, bite-sized pieces of lamb with a hint of spice.

The spicy lamb cooks in no time and goes perfectly with Green Rice Salad or the couscous part of this dish.


Created especially for a packed lunch by The Hungry Hungry Husband and me, this spicy lamb recipe is an amalgamation of two dishes — ‘Spiced Indian Lamb’ from Joe Wicks’s Lean in 15 cookbook and ‘Quick Lamb Tagine’ from Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals. Neither recipe quite fulfilled the packed lunch criteria, as they weren’t very easy to eat on-the-go, so we devised this crafty little combination of the two.

As you can tell from the ’15’ in the titles of both cookbooks, speed is the focus for this dish, but there’s still no compromise on the flavour. These little pieces of spicy lamb certainly pack a punch — and only use three ingredients to achieve it! The cut of meat — neck fillet — isn’t one of the most popular (although most UK supermarkets stock it). I couldn’t tell you why not though; it’s reasonably priced and produces a sumptuously juicy and tender end product. Well worth trying, I say!

The dish works really well in a bento box style packed lunch and it’s very simple to meal prep 6 portions at once, too.


Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins | Servings: 6
Cost? I paid £1.35 per serving

Ingredients
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Full Instructions

Preheat oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan-assisted)

Prepare lamb:

  1. Cut the lamb neck fillet into thick slices
  2. Use a fist to gently flatten the slices — this tenderizes the lamb as well as helps to reduce the cooking time by making it thinner!
  3. Add the slices to a bowl or baking dish and cover all over with salt & pepper so it’s evenly spread
  4. Next, add the garam masala — probably about ½ a tablespoon’s worth all over, but really it just wants to visible on every piece (see photos above)
  5. Add the same amount of paprika until there’s a nice coating of red over all of the pieces
  6. Flip the slices over and do the same to the other side
  7. Use your fingers (or the back of a spoon) to rub everything in so the lamb is evenly coated in flavouring (again, see photos in the gallery for what they should look like)

Cook lamb:

  1. Pop the slices onto a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil (or any other oil you might have)
  2. Turn them over (with tongs or fingers) and rub the other side in the oil that will have spilled over on to the tray
  3. Place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes
    * tip* if you’ve bashed the slices first, they shouldn’t take any longer than this, but if you’re unsure whether they’re cooked yet, just take a piece out and cut it in half to see — lamb can be a bit pink in the middle and the less time it’s in the oven, the more tender it will be
  4. Once it’s done, leave the pieces to cool down before transferring to a tub in the fridge

In the morning:

  1. Simply take out the desired number of lamb pieces and add them to the other elements of your lunch — I find it goes excellently with Green Rice Salad and some green leaves like lamb’s lettuce, watercress, or spinach
  2. If, like The HHH, you don’t have access to a proper set of cutlery at lunchtime, you’ll want to cut the pieces into half again to make them more easy to spear with a fork!

*hot option* simply pop the pieces in the microwave before adding to your salad — they should heat up nicely in only 30 seconds–1 minute, depending on the strength of the machine


The Hungry Hungry Husband - the hunt for the perfect packed lunch

bento box meal prep packed lunch
Tender, spicy lamb with vegetarian rice salad and fresh, green leaves

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