Pot roast lamb with rosemary

Sometimes when it comes to food simplicity is a wonderful thing. When you have beautiful ingredients you really don’t need to fuss. With this in mind this recipe for pot roast lamb is a dream for any meat lover. The flavours of the lamb, rosemary and garlic really come through and its so simple to make that even people who are less confident in the kitchen can produce this for hungry guest – I made this for Sunday dinner last week when my parents visited me and it went down a storm.

You can make pot roasts in a slow cooker or in the oven. You will need a good sized casserole dish that is oven safe. You can use other cuts of lamb in this recipe but make sure it’s one that is best cooked slowly for a long time. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as when the meat you have cooked falls off the bone.

To make your own pot roast you will need:

Lamb shoulder (make sure it fits in your casserole dish)

2 cloves garlic

Olive oil

Fresh rosemary

100ml stock

1 glass white wine

Sea salt

 

Roughly chop the garlic. Use a sharp knife to pierce holes in your lamb and put the pieces of garlic in the holes with small sprigs of rosemary. Rub the lamb with the sea salt and olive oil.

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Heat a large frying pan and place your lamb in it fatty side down with any remaining garlic (add oil if there isn’t a particularly fatty side). Turn your lamb to ensure that it’s more or less browned all over. Place in your casserole dish or slow cooker. Cover with the stock and white wine and cook for 6-8 hours with a lid on your slow cooker/casserole dish. If you’re using the oven you want the oven around 100°C; if using the slow cooker it should be on low.

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As usual with slowly cooked meat it doesn’t look at its best after this point.

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A few minutes before you plan on serving this remove your lamb from the pot and pull apart the meat to make it easier to serve. Cover with some of the liquid that you cooked the lamb in it, but not so that the lamb in swimming in it.

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I serve mine with roast Mediterranean vegetables, potatoes and homemade pitta but it also works well as a traditional British Sunday lunch.

I was certainly pretty popular with my parents and a certain somebody. I onlty wish I had taken a photo of all the food I made on the table.

Slow cooked lamb braised in white wine

This recipe is based on Jarret d’agneau a French braised lamb recipe. I couldn’t actually claim absolute authenticity as I don’t know the exact recipe.

I absolutely adore slow cooked lamb shanks. The lamb comes out so tender it’s almost butter soft. The meat just falls off the bone. This recipe using white wine tastes wonderful and is the perfect comfort food as the weather gets colder and more miserable. The garlic tomato topping is pretty damn good too. I made this recipe for my family and we were all practically licking our plates.

To make this recipe you will need:

3 large lamb shanks

Plain flour

2 onions

3 cloves of garlic

30g butter

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 large carrot

250ml white wine (approx 1 glass)

200ml chicken stock (approx)

The zest and juice of 1 orange

A good splash of olive oil

3 large vine tomatoes

Salt and pepper

1 sprig of rosemary

Serves 4 hungry people

 

Preheat your slow cooker. Peel and chop your onion and carrot. Dust your lamb shanks in the flour.

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Heat the butter and oil in a pan and brown the lamb on each side. If your lamb won’t all fit in the pan cook in batches. Remove the lamb from the pan and put in the slow cooker.

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Remove all but approx 1 tbsp of the oil from the pan. Add the onion and carrot and 2 cloves of the garlic (crushed) and fry on a gentle heat until soft.

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Add the wine and simmer to reduce the volume of the wine by half.

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Season with the salt and pepper. Add the orange zest and juice. Add this all to the slow cooker.

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Top the lamb/vegetable mixture with the chicken stock. Cover and cook on a low heat for 6-8 hours (or high for 3-4 hours).

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Just before serving crush your rosemary, your remaining garlic and 1tsp olive oil. Finely chop your tomatoes.

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Add this mixture to your tomatoes and drizzle over a bit more oil.

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Remove your lamb from the slow cooker to a serving dish.

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Top with the tomato mixture and serve with some form of potato and vegetables.

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I adore casseroles and stews in Autumn!

Jinnah – Harrogate

So it was my birthday yesterday. Somehow I ended up doing rather a lot of things to celebrate reaching my quarter century. This involved two of my friends visiting me in Harrogate for the first time. We ended up eating out rather a lot and also visiting the Turkish baths. (Now the Turkish baths are well worth a visit, we left feeling amazingly relaxed and soft skinned). One of the places we visited was a restaurant called Jinnah which is an Indian restaurant which also does some Persian, Goan, Nepalese and other dishes.

The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere and the staff are helpful. There are a lot of dishes on the menu that you don’t get on standard Indian menus which impressed me as I like variety in dishes between places I go to eat.

We started with poppadoms and pickles. My friend RC was the one who suggested ordering them but AW and I dug in thus confirming the awkwardness of most women.

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I was mighty impressed by the pickle selection

Now I forget the name of each dish we ordered. I ordered a chicken Parsi and AW had king prawn malai. I *think* RC had a lamb malai, but I can’t remember! Either way the dishes were all tasty and we enjoyed trying them all and mixing them with different pickles.

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Parsi – the nicest dish

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The king prawn malai is at the back

What Indian restaurant order is complete without some naan?

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I really enjoyed Jinnah, it was well worth a visit, the staff were helpful and I thought it was very reasonably priced, considering how stuffed we felt once we’d finished.

You can find out information about Jinnah here.

Slow cooked lamb stew

Stew is like a hug when you drive through some fog home on a dark night (which is incidentally how I spent my 15 minute drive home from the gym after work). Especially when its been in the slow cooker for nearly 12 hours and the meat just breaks apart…..

Anyway, I’d say if you’re not altogether confident in your cooking abilities but want to come home to delicious homemade food instead of ready meals this recipe is for you. I’d recommend getting a slow cooker to anybody for the simple reason that it makes cheap cuts of meat taste really tender and delicious. There really is no point putting something like a fillet steak in there when it cooks beef skirt to perfection.

As a fluke my lamb, tomato and red wine stew ended up tasting very much like the goulash my dad makes. For this particular recipe I used:

A packet of lamb neck fillets (chops are amazing in this but I got the neck fillet purely because I wanted to make use of a 2 for £7 offer in Asda)

2 shallots (or 1 onion)

Half a leek

A can of tomatoes (I actually used Asda Smartprice and they worked really well)

A clove of garlic

A green pepper

Approx 1/4 pint of stock

A good splash of Henderson’s relish (you can use Worcester sauce if that’s what’s in your cupboard)

A glass of red wine

A teaspoon of paprika

1/2 a teaspoon of cumin

A bay leaf

A knob of butter

Vegetable oil

(This makes enough for 2 – 3 people).

The night before you plan to eat the stew chop your shallots/onions (I cried my eye make-up off doing this bit and spent the rest of my evening looking racoon-esque), slice your garlic and leeks. Chop your lamb into pieces; you can leave it whole if you want though, when I use lamb chops I don’t cut them up. Heat the oil and butter, fry the shallots, leek and garlic until soft and throw in the lamb and fry just long enough so that the lamb browns to add some flavour.

Once you are happy that the meat is mostly browned on the outside put it in your slow cooker. Pour in the contents of your can of tomatoes (you might want to chop them up a little first, but don’t go mad), put in your glass of wine, slice your pepper and put in, add your stock and seasons and stir. It will look a tiny bit uninspiring at this point.

Say bye bye Mr Stew!

Then leave overnight. I hope this allows the flavours to develop but in all honesty I prepare it all the night before because I love my bed and don’t want to get up especially early to prepare it.

The following morning switch on your slow cooker to the low heat setting. If yo know you’re the type of person who is more than a little scatterbrained in a morning you could use one of those timer plugs to make sure it switches on. Leave for however long you want to (at least 4 hours).

Still not much prettier but look at the lovely tomatoey colour!

You can leave this cooking while you prepare things to go with this. I had my stew with boiled potatoes and brocoli but it honestly goes well with anything; bread, rice, pasta, cous cous. The beauty of it is that you can leave it heating while you wait for something like brown rice to cook but if you wanted to collapse into a heap it’d be ready quickly enough to serve with crusty bread.

A hearty meal your mother would be proud of