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Archive for the ‘Lamb’ Category

Middle Eastern Shepherd's Pie with Spiced Parsnip Crust

Diana Henry’s book, Food from Plenty, is great for recipes that use leftovers. For this one we used a large amount of leftover lamb shoulder that had been roasted for hours on the bone in a spicy marinade. The leftover lamb was tasty as it was but was totally transformed in this recipe – super spicy and delicious! Don’t be tempted to skip the spicy onion topping.

Wine Suggestion: a medium bodied, juicy and youthful red with not too many tannins. Luigi Pira’s Barbera d’Alba was perfect, as was a quirky, earthy Poulsard from Stephane Tissot from the Arbois in eastern France … we had a few people over, so could try a few different wines which was fun.

Middle Eastern shepherd’s pie with spiced parsnip crust – serves 6

FOR THE MEAT:

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 800g leftover cooked lamb, cut into small chunks
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml chicken stock or lamb stock
  • grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 75g raisins, soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes and drained
  • 6 tbsp tomato purée
  • 75g pine nuts, toasted

FOR THE PARSNIP CRUST:

  • 450g floury potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 950g parsnips, chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper (this will make a very spicy mash so use less if you like)
  • 50ml whipping cream

FOR THE SPICED ONION TOPPING:

  • 2 onions, very finely sliced
  • 15g butter
  • 1½ tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 3 tsp soft dark brown sugar
  • good squeeze of lemon juice
  • a small bunch of coriander or mint, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a large casserole and brown the lamb, then scoop the lamb out and set aside.

Add the onions, celery and carrots to the same pan and cook until golden. Add the garlic and spices and continue to cook for another minute. Return the lamb to the pan and add the flour. Stir for a minute, then add the stock, zest, juice, raisins and tomato purée. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 45 minutes. You will need to keep stirring now and then to prevent the mixture from sticking. It should be thick but if it looks dry add a little more stock. Add the pine nuts.

Boil the potatoes and parsnips separately until soft. Drain the potatoes, then cover with a tea towel and  lid and allow to dry out over a low heat. Drain the parsnips and add to the potatoes. Heat the butter for the crust in a large saucepan with the spices. Add the potatoes and parsnips and mash, then add the cream and season to taste.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

Spoon the lamb into a large pie dish, spread the mash on top and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Meanwhile, fry the onions for the topping in the butter and oil until golden. Turn up the heat and keep cooking until starting to crisp. Add the cinnamon, chilli, salt, some salt & pepper, and sugar. Cook until slightly caramelised, then squeeze over the lemon juice and mix in the herbs. Pile the onions on top of the pie to serve.

(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2011.)

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Chilli and Garlic Kebab - Kabab Khashkhash

We’ve had The Aleppo Cookbook for ages and for some reason haven’t cooked too much out of it. It’s really dense with recipes and not so many photos – not that photos are essential, but they’re definitely helpful when flicking for inspiration. Anyhow, we took this book out a few weeks ago, determined to cook something, and chose these little kebabs for the barbecue. They were stunning! We served with spicy roast potatoes and salad but they would also be great as a starter with some sort of yoghurty dip.

Wine Suggestion: we love how these go so well with a good Tempranillo, a grape that flatters lamb and with a deft touch in the winery gives wonderful, complementary spices that work superbly with the warm spices of the Levant. For a bit of sophisticated elegance we had a glass of the Cantos de Valpiedra Rioja which is silky, smooth and refined.

Chilli and garlic kebab – Kabab Khashkhash – makes 10 skewers

  • 450g lamb mince
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-2 hot red chillies, seeds removed and chopped
  • 15g finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp Aleppo pepper or paprika (do try and find Aleppo pepper)
  • 1 tbsp Aleppo spice mix or seven-spice powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp salt, or to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well – hands are good for this. Transfer to a clean surface and knead for 30 seconds as you would bread dough.

Moisten your hands with water, then divide the meat into 10 prune-sized portions and form into balls.

Insert a wide, flat metal skewer through the middle of each meatball; then form the meat around the skewer to a length of about 14cm (similar to the picture above). Suspend the finished kebab over a deep baking dish resting the skewers on the sides.

Preheat a barbecue (preferably charcoal)and grill the kebabs until cooked how you like them.

(Original recipe from The Aleppo Cookbook by Marlene Matar, Head of Zeus, 2017.)

Chilli and Garlic Kebab

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Braised Lamb with Spring VegetablesA great dish for when you want to eat spring food but it’s chilly outside. Leftovers taste great the next day too. Serve with new potatoes.

Wine Suggestion: This works superbly with Syrah and if you’d like to taste something different then the Insolgio del Cinghiale from Tenuta Biserno which is a Syrah, Cabernet Franc blend from the Maremma in Italy is well worth finding. A wine that shows a new side to Syrah and that Italy also has some superb sites for this grape, especially in a blend.

Braised lamb with spring vegetables – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 600g lamb neck fillet, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 baby leeks, sliced
  • 4 shallots, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 700ml lamb stock or chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 150g Chantenay carrots, halved lengthways if large
  • 100g fine green beans, halved
  • 150g fresh or frozen peas
  • 150g fresh or frozen broad beans
  • new potatoes, to serve

Put the flour into a large freezer bag and season well with salt and pepper. Add the lamb pieces to the bag and shake to coat in the flour. Tip the lamb out into a sieve to get rid of excess flour.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Brown the meat in batches, then remove with a slotted spoon onto some kitchen paper.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the casserole and add the leeks, shallots, and garlic. Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes.

Return the meat to the casserole and add the stock, bay leaf, rosemary, and lemon zest. Season well and bring to a simmer, skim off any scum, then cover and simmer gently for 1½ hours.

Add the carrots, return to the boil, then simmer gently, uncovered, for 10 minutes to reduce the sauce. Add the green bean, peas, and baby broad beans. Return to the boil and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender and the sauce has thickened slightly.

Remove the rosemary and bay leaf and serve with new potatoes.

(Original recipe from Family Kitchen Cookbook by Caroline Bretherton, DK, 2013.)

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Lamb Ragoût

Lamb ragoût with fresh pasta

This lamb ragoût really reminds of holidays in Italy. Really simple but with a great concentrated flavour. No doubt it would be fab with some freshly made pappardelle, but dried was all we could muster on this occasion.

Wine Suggestion: While a red is often the first thought when matching a Ragoût, an oaked white would also work just as well with this dish. The Zuani Riserva from Collio in north eastern Italy would be a good choice. Delicately toasty with vanilla and touch of tropical fruit and some creamy, ripe stone-fruits. Broad and rich, creamy, thick fruit texture, peach and yellow plum with a long and gently spicy finish.

However if you feel like red, like Jules did tonight, then an elegant Sangiovese makes a good option and the Selvapiana Bucerchiale Chianti Rufina is a favourite of ours. Always superb.

Lamb Ragoût – serves 4 to 6

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1kg lamb shoulder, cut into small dice
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 125ml white wine
  • 500ml lamb stock
  • fresh or dried pappardelle pasta
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve
  • grated Parmesan, to serve

Heat the oil in a large casserole dish, add the onions, celery and carrot and sweat until translucent. Add the garlic, baby leaves and thyme. Add the lamb and season well with salt and pepper, sweat, then add the tomato purée.

Cook for a few minutes, then deglaze with the wine. Add the lamb stock and simmer for 3 hours, covered, until reduced – add more stock or water if it becomes too dry.

Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and stir into the ragoût with the parsley and Parmesan.

(Original recipe from The Skills by Monica Galetti, Quadrille, 2016.)

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Spiced Lamb Hotpot

We love this spiced hotpot from Sabrina Ghayour’s fabulous book, Feasts. All the work is done at the start, and isn’t particularly onerous, so it’s a great dish for guests and the house smells good when they arrive. We served with big dishes of cauliflower cheese and greens.

Wine suggestion: You need a red with some guts to stand up to these flavours, but don’t go OTT as it also requires subtlety and finess too. Our friend Miriam had found a 9 yo Bordeaux made from 100% merlot in her cellar and we’re glad she shared it with us.

Spiced Lamb Hotpot – serves 4-6

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 6 cardamom pods, lightly cracked
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 900g diced leg of lamb
  • 1 large garlic bulb, cloves peeled and left whole
  • 8 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml chicken, lamb or vegetable stock
  • 700-750g red potatoes, unpeeled, thinly sliced – a mandolin is good for this
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted
  • sprinkling of thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas 3½.

Heat a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cardamom pods to the hot pan and dry-toast for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they smell aromatic.

Pour in oil to coat the base of the pan. When the oil is heated, add the onions and fry for 6-8 minutes, or until softened and starting to brown at the edges. Add the meat and cook for a few minutes, stirring to coat in the cumin seeds. Add the garlic cloves, shallots and carrots and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the ground cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, mustard powder and flour. Season with salt and pepper and mix well before adding the stock.

Arrange the potato slices on top of the meat, slightly overlapping them. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle with the thyme and season again. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 1½ hours.

Remove the hotpot from the oven and take off the lid. Turn the oven up to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7.

Put the casserole back into the oven and cook for another 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown.

(Original recipe from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2017.)

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Mughlai Lamb with Turnips - Shabdeg

Our local supermarket has perfect sweet turnips with purple and white skin and green tops so when flicking through Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking we just couldn’t go past this unusual lamb curry. The cooking method goes against many of our instincts but, not wanting to mess with Madhur Jaffrey, we followed the instructions to the letter and the result was amazing! Great with steamed rice or serve with Mushroom Pullao, Spicy Green Beans and Yoghurt with Walnuts and Coriander for a fabulous Indian feast.

Wine Suggestion: We like many struggle to match Indian food with wine. Tonight we had a clean lager which fitted the bill for us, though some more adventurous beers would be good too.

Mughlai Lamb with Turnips  (Shabdeg) – serves 6

  • 10 small turnips, weighing 750g when the leaves and stems have been removed (halve the turnips if they are larger)
  • 5 medium onions, peeled
  • 8 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1kg stewing lamb shoulder cut into 4cm cubes (include some bones if you have them)
  • 285ml plain yoghurt
  • 2.5 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2.25 litres water
  • ½ tsp garam masala

Peel the turnips and prick them all over with a fork. Put them in a bowl and rub with ¾ tsp of salt, then set aside for 1½-2 hours.

Cut the onions in half, lengthwise, and then across into very thin slices.

Heat the oil in a large, wide, and preferably non-stick pot over a medium-high heat. When hot, stir and fry the onions for about 12 minutes or until they are reddish brown in colour (this took longer than 12 minutes on our hob). Remove the onions with a slotted spoon, squeezing out and leaving behind as much oil as you can. Spread the onions out on a plate.

Add the meat, yoghurt, ginger and 1 tsp of salt to the pot. Stir and bring to a boil, then turn the heat up to high. You should have lots of fairly thin sauce. Cook on a high heat, stirring now and then, for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is fairly thick and you just begin to see the oil (be patient as we cooked for more like 20 minutes to get to this point). Turn the heat down to medium-high and keep stirring and frying for another 5-7 minutes or until the meat is lightly brown and the sauce has disappeared. Turn the heat to medium-low, then add the turmeric, cayenne, and coriander. Stir for a minute.

Add the water and 1tsp of salt. Drain the turnips and add them to the pot. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes or until you have less than a third of the liquid left (this stage took closer to an hour for us). Stir the pot occasionally as it cooks.

Return the browned onions to the pan and add the garam masala. Stir gently to mix and turn the heat to low. Cook gently, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. Stir it now and then but be careful not to break up the turnips.

Spoon off the fat that floats to the top and serve hot with rice and other Indian dishes (see above).

(Original recipe from Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey, Baron’s Educational Series, 2002.)

 

 

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Crispy Chickpeas & Lamb with greens and garlic yoghurt

We made this Alison Roman dish because we had Rainbow Chard kindly given to us and as often happens, we discovered a gem. Crispy lamb and chickpeas – a divine combination!

Wine Suggestion: we think this goes with more serious Gamay: one of the Beaujolais Cru’s, like Moulin au Vent, Brouilly or Morgon. It needs good fruit, depth to the tannins, earthiness and freshness, without crunchy acidity.

Crispy chickpeas and lamb with greens & garlicky yoghurt – serves 4

FOR THE GARLICKY YOGHURT:

  • 240ml full-fat or 2% Greek yoghurt
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

FOR THE CHICKPEAS & LAMB:

  • 1 large or 2 small bunches of Swiss chard or kale
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 350g lamb mince
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Tomatoes, quartered – to serve

To make the garlic yoghurt combine the yoghurt, garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl and season with salt and black pepper.

Separate the leaves and stems from the greens, then slice the stems and roughly tear the leaves.

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the lamb, garlic and cumin and season with salt and black pepper.

Break up the lamb as it cooks until brown and crispy – about 8-10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the lamb to a bowl.

Add the rest of the oil, the chickpeas and red pepper flakes to the frying pan and season. Cook until the chickpeas are well browned and starting to crisp up – about 8-10 minutes. Return the lamb to the pan and toss together. Transfer to a large serving dish.

Add the chopped stems to the frying pan with some seasoning. Cook for a couple of minutes to soften slightly, then add the leaves and toss until wilted – about 30 seconds. Season again if needed.

Smear the yoghurt over the bottom of plates or bowls and top with the chickpeas and lamb, the sautéed greens and the tomatoes.

(Original recipe from Dining In by Alison Roman, Clarkson Potter, 2017.)

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