To cook the dish, I roasted the lamb for half an hour in a hot oven, before removing it and tipping off the fat. I scattered chunks of aubergine and red onion seasoned with salt, pepper and oregano and tossed in olive oil around the lamb and returned to the oven to cook for another hour.
While this was cooking, I made the tomato sauce. I fried garlic and chopped parsley stalks (as an aside, I have noticed that in this book Jamie makes good use of the stalks of various herbs - basil, for instance, as well as parsley, as the base for sauces) and then added tinned plum tomatoes, pinch of seasoning, a 'good swig' of red wine vinegar dried chilli and drained anchovy fillets (again, Jamie uses a lot of anchovy fillets - fussy eaters need not be wary, as they disintegrate into the sauce and lend it flavour); the sauce then simmered for 30 minutes.
When the lamb was cooked, I removed it from the baking tray to rest on a plate. I poured the tomato sauce over the roasted aubergines and onions and put the tray over a medium-heat hob, scraping away at the sticky bits at the bottom of the pan as best I could without mashing the vegetables up. I added parsley leaves and simmered gently until the sauce reached the desired consistency (which is hard to describe, and which Jamie suggests be measured against the photograph in the book; you can sort of see it in my picture below).
The picture probably shows how tasty this was: a rich tomato sauce, aubergines, tender lamb - delicious. What I liked about it was that it felt like an unctious but kitchen table type supper, much more relaxed than the English roast (which is not to say that roast lamb with mint sauce isn't wonderful too).
I served it with warm bread and salad as suggested. For the bread part, I made rosemary and garlic focaccia which was lovely too - my first focaccia from scratch attempt and it worked. Hurrah - there is nothing like homemade bread to make me feel like Nigella.
This was a fun dinner to eat, tearing off bread and helping yourself to more mustardy salad (I tend to make salad dressing as I was taught to when I lived in France, very classically, but with a lot of mustard), which worked so well with the lamb and veggies. It was a very happy evening, eating and drinking and chattering, and the food was generous but informal. A perfect sort of evening, really. Oh and we rounded the meal up with Jamie's vanilla cheesecake, which I will report on later....