Monday, September 12, 2016

Lamb Kofta


400g mince lamb
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp garam masala

Masala Sauce

1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger, grated (3-4cm)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
1 chilli, chopped
½ tsp chilli powder
200g or ½ tin of plum tomatoes
1 tsp garam masala
Handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

1] In a large mixing bowl add the mince lamb, salt, cumin, chilli powder, garam masala, and mix using your hands to ensure the spices are evenly distributed.

2] Rub a little oil on to your hands to stop the mixture sticking to your hands.

3] Take a small amount of the meat and roll in your palms to make a meatball. Ensure it is smooth all over and set to one side.

4] Heat the oil in a frying pan. Carefully fry the meatballs (kofta) in batches so they brown and crisp up all over.

5] Remove the kofta using a slotted spoon and set them on some kitchen paper to drain.

6] Heat the oil in a pan and stir in the onions and garlic and gently cook down until the onions turn a dark golden brown colour.

7] Reduce the heat and add the ginger and chopped chilli, stir and add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric, fenugreek and chilli powder.

8] Stir together and leave to cook gently so the onions and tomatoes melt together with the spices creating a wonderfully thick aromatic paste.

9] Add the kofta to the pan and coat with the sauce for a few minutes. Add enough boiling water to get the consistency of sauce you want. Bring it all to the boil and turn the heat off. Leave the kofta to absorb the juices from the sauce for 5-10 minutes.

10] Throw in the garam masala and corinander before serving.


Thursday, September 01, 2016

Lamb and Coconut Curry

2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

900g Lamb - trimmed and cubed

2 Onions, roughly chopped

3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and crushed

2 Green Chillies, finely chopped

1 tbsp grated Fresh Ginger

1 tbsp Ground Turmeric

1½ tbsp Garam Masala

1½ tbsp Ground Cumin

1 tbsp Chilli Powder

1 tbsp Plain Flour

6 large Tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 tin of Coconut Milk

600ml Chicken Stock

250g baby Spinach leaves (or a couple of lumps of frozen)

200g Plain yoghurt

Heat a large saucepan and add one tablespoon of the Vegetable Oil and then the Lamb. Cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the Lamb is golden-brown all over, then remove and set aside.

Reduce the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of Vegetable Oil. Add the Onions, Garlic, Chillies and Ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes, until golden and softened.

Add the Turmeric, Garam Masala, Cumin and Chilli Powder and fry, stirring well, for one minute.

Add the Flour and stir for a further minute.

Add the Tomatoes and Coconut Milk and heat to bring to a simmer.

Add the Lamb and enough Chicken Stock to just cover the Lamb. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze and release any residue at the bottom of the pan.

Heat the mixture until simmering, then cover and cook on a low heat for about one hour, or until the Lamb is tender and cooked through.

Skim off any excess fat from the surface of the sauce, then add the Spinach. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the spinach has wilted.

Add the Yoghurt, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pork Mince and Curly Kale

For 2 servings

• Finely chopped Onion, about half a large one
• Finely chopped fresh Garlic Cloves, 2 or 3
• Finely chopped fresh Ginger Root, to taste
• A few chopped fresh Tomatoes (spinkle with Salt and Pepper while they wait to be added to the wok)
• Oil of your choice to fry off the above (Olive Oil for this test)
• Vegetable Stock - 400mls or so
• Minced Pork
• Curly Kale (remove the woody stalk bits)

1] Gently fry the Onions, 10 mins or so. Turn up the heat and add the Garlic and Ginger, stir for a couple of minutes.
2] Add the Pork and keep stirring and breaking the mince up. Don't cook it too much or the Pork will tighten up.
3] Add the Tomatoes, stir for a bit, then add the Veg Stock. Let it come to the boil then reduce to a simmer.
4] Stir in the Kale, make sure there is still enough liquid, then cover for 3 minutes.

I finished this test off with some grated fresh Red Chilli and Soya Sauce and served on rice. Noodles would work better maybe with the lovely sauce from the pan.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Slow Cooker Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin

• Brown Sugar
• 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
• Dijon or Whole Grain Mustard
• Fresh Rosemary finally chopped
• Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
• 1 boneless Pork Loin, excess fat trimmed
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 6 slices bacon

For the cooking liquid
• 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
• White Wine
• Chicken Stock
• Sprig of Fresh Rosemary
• Dijon or Whole Grain Mustard
• Zest and Juice of 1 orange (I used two Clementines)

1] In a small bowl, combine the Sugar, Garlic, Rosemary, Salt and Pepper. Season Pork Loin with  the Sugar mixture, rubbing in thoroughly on all sides.

2] Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add Pork Loin, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Keep gently moving the Pork around so it doesn't stick and start breaking up.

3] Wrap the Bacon around the Pork and place in the Slow Cooker.

4] In the pan gently fry the crushed Garlic and deglaze with the White Wine. Stir in the Zest, Juice and Mustard. Pour into the slow cooker and add the stock.

5] Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours, or until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.

6] Take the pork out to rest and strain the cooking juices into a pan. Reduce some of these juices for a lovely gravy while you get on and do the veg.

Note to self - Slow cooker was set to Medium for 3 hours - This resulted in the Pork being flaky and unslicable, lovely and moist though - Next time set to Low for 4 hours.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Perfect Beef Stew

Fom Felicity Cloakes article on The Guardian website.

800g shin of beef

2 tbsp flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

Beef dripping, butter or oil

2 onions, sliced

300ml beef stock

300ml stout 

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs of thyme

2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunky slices

2 small turnips, peeled and cut into chunks

For the dumplings:

100g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

50g suet

Small bunch of chives and parsley, finely chopped

1. Trim the beef of its outer sinew and cut into large chunks. Toss with the seasoned flour to coat. Heat a heavy-bottomed casserole or pan on a medium flame and add a knob of dripping or butter, or a couple of tablespoons of oil. Brown the meat in batches, adding more fat if necessary – be careful not to overcrowd the pan, or it will boil in its own juices – then transfer to a bowl. Scrape the bottom of the pan regularly to prevent any residue from burning.

2. Once all the meat is browned, add some more fat to the pan and cook the onions until soft and slightly browned. Add them to the beef and then pour in a little stock and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Add the beef and onions, the rest of the stock and the stout, season, and add the herbs. Bring to the boil, then partially cover, turn down the heat, and simmer gently for two hours.

3. Add the carrots and turnips, and simmer for about another hour, until the meat is tender enough to cut with a spoon. Leave to cool, overnight if possible, and then lift the solidified fat off the top and bring to a simmer.

4. Meanwhile, make the dumplings by sifting the flour into a bowl and adding the rest of the ingredients and just enough cold water to bring it together into a dough. Roll it into 6 dumplings and add these to the stew. Partially cover and simmer for 25 minutes, then check the seasoning of the gravy, and serve with steamed greens.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Chicken & Pea Risotto

Another left-over Chicken dish…

• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 onion chopped
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 190g Risotto rice

• 1 small glass white wine
• 500ml Chicken Stock (warm before adding)
• Cooked Chicken breasts, chopped
• 1 tbsp thyme leaf
• 100g frozen peas
• Crispy Bacon to scatter on top
• 2 tbsp grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve

1] Heat oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic for 5 mins. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 min more, until it starts to look transparent. Pour in the wine and keep stirring until all the liquid is absorbed.

2] Add the stock and simmer until the rice is just tender. Stir through the chicken, thyme and peas, then cook for 2 mins or until the chicken is warmed through. Add the crème fraîche and Parmesan with some seasoning, then remove from the heat. Cover with a lid and leave to stand for 2 mins before serving with extra Parmesan.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pasta with Yellow Pepper Sauce

Extra virgin olive oil
3 cups diced sweet onion
2 leeks, white part only, diced
4 Yellow bell peppers, cleaned of all seeds and pulp sliced very thin
Black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to sprinkle over the finished dish

1] In a large sauté pan heat oil over medium to medium high heat and add onions and leeks. Cook stirring occasionally for eight minutes adjusting heat so that leeks don’t brown. Add peppers, salt, pepper and thyme and stir. Lower heat and cook covered for five minutes. Add a cup of water and cook covered for five more minutes. Add another cup of water and cook covered for another five minutes.

2] Using a blender puree the mixture until very smooth. If too thick, add a little water. Pour back into pan.

3] Cook pasta according to package directions until slightly less than done. (Reserve pasta water, do not drain).

4] Place pasta in with sauce and cook over medium heat adding small ladles of pasta water until pasta is fully cooked and sauce is the proper constancy. Remove from heat and mix in as much Parmesan cheese to your tastes - Careful not to overpower the sweet yellow pepper flavour.

Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese over each portion.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Slow cooked Ox Cheeks in Wine

 3 Ox Cheeks
 2 Carrots, chopped
 2 Celery, chopped
 1 Onion, chopped
 2 Garlic Cloves 
 500ml of Red Wine
 1 Clove
 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
 750ml of Beef Stock
 2 Bay Leaves
 1 Star Anise
 1 tsp Thyme
 2 tbsp of Tomato Purée
 2 Anchovies
 100g of Plain Flour, seasoned with a generous grinding of salt
 Black Pepper
 Flat-leaf Parsley, to serve

1] Trim any excess fat off the ox cheeks and place this fat into a large pan. Place over a moderate heat and allow the fat to melt and render down.
2] While this is happening, cut each cheek into six even pieces and dust lightly and evenly with the seasoned flour.
3] Once the fat has completely rendered down, increase the heat and add the ox cheeks to the hot fat, browning all over until dark and golden. You may need to add a little extra oil if the pan is too dry. Remove the cheeks from the pan and set aside to cool.
4] Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2.
5] Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic to the same pan over a moderate-low heat and sweat down in the residual fat until soft and lightly caramelised.
6] Increase the heat and add the meat back to the pan along with the tomato purée. Mix together so that the ox cheeks and vegetables are coated in the purée and cook out for 2–3 minutes.
7] Deglaze the pan with the brandy, scraping the base of the pan to mix in all the caramelised meat and vegetables. Add the wine, clove, cinnamon, stock, thyme, star anise, bay and anchovies then bring everything to the boil.
8] Cover the pan with a lid and transfer to the oven to cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
9] After this time check the meat to ensure the cheeks are very tender, but not falling apart. Return to the oven, turn off the heat and leave to sit for 30 minutes for the flavours to improve.
10] To serve, reheat either in the oven or on the stove and season to taste, serve hot with mashed potato or soft polenta.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Lion’s Mane Pork Balls with sweet chilli dipping sauce

Pork Balls
100g/3½oz glutinous rice (I used Basmati and it came out a bit more spikey, but in a fun way visually ;)
350g/12oz pork mince
2 garlic
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1½ tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp Chinese rice wine
1½ tbsp fresh chopped coriander
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

You can season the pork with anything you fancy, you don't need to stick to the ingredients above...

Dipping Sauce
3 tsp caster sugar
1½ tbsp sherry vinegar
1½ tbsp light soy sauce
2 small shallots
1-2 small red chillies
3 tsp sesame oil

small bunch spring onions
1 cucumber
1 lemon

1. Whisk up all the ingredients for the Pork Balls, then add the pork and gently massage it all together with your fingers. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Best to have the sink filled with some warm water to deal with the pork fat on your hands after doing this ;)

2. Meanwhile make the dipping sauce. Mix together the sugar, sherry vinegar and soy sauce until the sugar dissolves. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk together until combined. Cover with cling film and leave to infuse, stirring occasionally.

3. With wet hands, roll the pork mixture into walnut-sized balls and then roll in the rice to coat

4. Line the base of the top section of a steamer with greaseproof paper, (I used lengths of leeks as I didn’t have any greaseproof paper… worked just fine…) then steam the balls in batches for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Once cooked, skewer the pork balls, three at a time, onto wooden skewers and arrange on a serving platter.

Serve with the dipping sauce and garnish with shredded spring onion, cucumber and lemon wedges.