Lamb with Rosemary, Garlic and White Wine

Remove as much fat from a smallish leg of lamb as possible; don’t worry if the meat starts to come undone.

Skoosh six cloves of garlic, a good handful of rosemary leaves, a teaspoon of sea salt, the juice of half a lemon and a tablespoon of olive oil and honey in your mini-chopper.

Rub the mixture into the leg of lamb and leave covered at cool room temperature for 4-6 hours.  A lidded oval Pyrex is ideal for this.  Then put into a warm oven (160 – 170 degrees) with a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary and half a bottle of disappointing white wine for four hours.  Two hours in, add some new potatoes.  Stir them every half hour or so, adding a drizzle of honey if you feel like it, or turning the oven up if nothing much is happening.

When the knife goes in easily, take the meat out to rest in foil, turn the oven up, and let the potatoes frazzle a bit with the lid off for 15 – 30 minutes.

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Moroccan-Spiced Pork Kebabs

DSC_0022[1]This gorgeous recipe is pretty much from ‘Moro’ by Sam and Sam Clark (Pinchitos morunos).  I’d never thought of using pork fillets for kebabs, but they were perfect.

Take one pork fillet (500g) and cut in half lengthways.  Cut each piece into cubes (2-3 cm) and pop into a bowl.

Put a pinch of saffron into a cup with 2 tablespoons of boiling water and allow to infuse while you prepare the other spices.

Grind half a teaspoon each of coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds.  Add 3-4 cloves of garlic, a ripped up bay leaf and half a teaspoon of salt and mush them all up together.  Add a dessertspoon of olive oil and a dessertspoon of red or white wine vinegar and mix.    It doesn’t need to be a smooth paste.

Pour the spice mix and the saffron-infused water over the pork, mix it together and leave it covered in the fridge for a minimum of two hours.

Thread the meat onto metal skewers and finish each one with a green chilli.  Cook on a hot barbecue until well charred and cooked through on each side.

 

Chicken Curry with Green Beans

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3 onions, in wedges

4 green chillis, halved lengthways

3″ ginger, peeled and grated

6 garlic cloves, bashed

4-6 chicken breasts, in thinnish pieces

tin of tomatoes

a squeeze of lemon juice

a handful of green beans

fresh coriander

spices:  ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika, turmeric, cardamom pods, bay leaves

First make the sauce:

Put one of the onions, half of the tomatoes, the ginger, 3 garlic cloves, the 4 green chillis, a big handful of fresh coriander, stalks and all (reserve about the same amount for sprinkling later), and 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a small pan with a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of turmeric and 200ml water.  Boil together with the lid on for 20 minutes.  Now use a hand blender to blitz this into a sauce.  By all means leave some of the chillis unscathed, if that’s how you like it.

Now, make the curry:

Put 3 tablespoons olive oil into a frying pan.  When it’s hot, add 3 bashed cloves of garlic, 2 bay leaves, and 6 bashed cardamom pods.  Let them sizzle for a few moments, then add the remaining sliced onions.  When they are just starting to burn, add the chicken and a little more salt.  Let the chicken colour for a couple of minutes before turning down the heat and adding a teaspoon each of ground coriander, cumin and paprika.  Stir well, and add the remaining tomatoes, the green beans, the sauce from Stage One and about 100ml of water.  Before popping the lid on, add a squeeze of lemon juice.  Simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.  Stir in some more fresh coriander before serving.  Serve with a drizzle of natural yoghurt and some basmati rice.

Lamb Curry with Tomatoes and Green Beans

The photo doesn’t do it justice, but this is my new favourite curry.  First, get about a kilo of diced lamb.  It’s best to buy a leg of lamb joint, and snip it up yourself, because it’s easier to trim away all the fat this way.  Put the lamb into a bowl with one teaspoon each of turmeric, dried ginger, sea salt, half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Mix well and set aside.

In a large, lidded pan, heat two tablespoons of oil until shimmering.  Add four cloves, two bay leaves and sizzle.  Now, add two sliced onions and let them brown.  Remove the onion from the pan, then add the lamb and let it brown.  When it’s browned, pop the onions back in, and add two chopped cloves of garlic and a teaspoon each of ground coriander, cumin and paprika.

Stir well, then add half a tin of tomatoes and 200ml of water.  Put the lid on and simmer for 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, make your fresh, tomatoey, curry sauce by putting one and a half tins of tomatoes, 100ml water, a chopped onion, four cloves of garlic, four long, green, hot chillis, six slices of fresh ginger, one teaspoon of turmeric, one teaspoonful of salt, two tablespoons of oil and a handful of fresh coriander into a medium-sized saucepan.  Boil with the lid on for twenty minutes, then liquidise.  Set aside until the lamb has cooked for an hour.

When the lamb is tender, add the sauce and a few handfuls of green beans.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve with plain, boiled rice and fresh coriander.  Also delicious with a few potatoes added.

Lamb and Spinach Curry

Fry 2 large, sliced onions in 4 tablespoons of oil until browning.

Skoosh up a two inch piece of ginger and 3 cloves of garlic and add to the onions.  Stir this into the onions with a teaspoon each of chilli powder, turmeric, ground cumin and salt.  Continue stirring and cook for 2 minutes more.

Add 500g lean diced lamb (I usually buy a leg or shoulder joint and cut it up myself so that there is no visible fat) and stir well.  Add half a tin of chopped tomatoes and stir.  Then add 400ml water and stir.  Put the lid on and cook slowly for 50 minutes.

Add 200g chopped spinach and cook – lid on – for a further 10 minutes.  Then take the lid off and turn up the heat to reduce the liquid for the last ten minutes.

Garnish with sliced chillis, ginger or coriander.

Rib of Beef with Garlic and Rosemary

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Advantages of having Rib of Beef for Christmas dinner:  you don’t need to get up at dawn to cook it; if you haven’t cooked it for long enough, it’s even more delicious; there is less washing up, especially if you just serve it with mashed potato and red cabbage.  We haven’t had turkey for three years now.

I think our beast was big-boned, as I asked for rib of beef with two bones, and it weighed 4kg.  About 3kg would be fine for six people, and give you some leftovers (rib of beef and red onion sandwich?  Heaven!).  Leave the joint out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cooking.  Preheat the oven to 245 degrees.

Get a handful of rosemary leaves, 2 cloves of garlic and a teaspoonful of sea salt.  Whoosh up together in a mini-processor with three tablespoons of olive oil.  Rub HALF of this mixture all over the beef, and save the rest for later.

Put the beef into a large roasting tin, and cook at a savage temperature for the first 20 minutes.  Now, lower the heat to 190 degrees and cook for 30 minutes per kilo.  When the meat is about 40 minutes from ready, turn it over and pop a whole bulb of garlic in to roast alongside.

When the garlic bulb is squishy (after about 30-40 minutes), leave it to cool for a few minutes before squeezing the cloves into the processor with the remaining rosemary rub.  Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon of runny honey.  Whoosh up until well blended.

Once the beef is cooked, brush over some tiny spots of butter (about 30g) until they have melted in.  Now brush the meat well with the rosemary-garlic-honey-vinegar mixture.  Cover in tin foil and leave to rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes.  Plenty of time to cook some potatoes and mash them with nutmeg and cream and to warm the red cabbage you might have made the day before.

Trim away any fatty bits and cut the joint into manageable chunks.  You can carve them more prettily at the table.  So easy.

Chicken Schnitzel

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The perfect TV dinner for Epic Movie Night.

Take two chicken breasts and slice them very thinly (about half a centimetre thick).  Beat an egg in a flattish bowl and add a little salt and pepper.  Whizz up the end slice of a wholemeal loaf (not too fresh) in a mini-processor until it resembles, well, breadcrumbs.  Put the breadcrumbs onto a large plate.

Immerse the chicken slices in the egg, then press them onto the breadcrumbs until they are well covered.

Foam a small knob of butter in a large frying pan and add a tablespoon or two of oil.  Fry the chicken for about 3-4 minutes each side on a hottish hob until golden brown.  If in any doubt about whether they are cooked, cut in half to check, and if you like to be doubly sure, place in a medium oven for a few minutes.