I am feeling slightly surreal this week – I have stopped work after almost 28 years of very early starts, some long days, lots of fun, chaos, good clients, other types of clients and good friends. My mind is still in the office so I guess it will take some time to switch off and get used to the fact that my time is completely my own now. To my good friend in the office who shall remain nameless (you know who you are) who wondered out loud if I would be slobbing around in a tracksuit or still wearing high heels at home…… I’m still in the heels. :-)
The upside is lots of time for cooking and inspired by memories of great paella’s in spain and looking at some delicious Irish lamb this is what I came up with for dinner. It cooks really quickly in the oven so it works really well if you still are putting in hours at the office!.
Baked Rice with Lamb – Serves 4
Oven at 180C
8 lamb chops
500g sausages (Pork, Chorizo, Merguez works very well)
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely diced
2 garlic cloves peeled chopped and mashed
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 red peppers cooked and peeled, and sliced (I use the jarred variety, omit if you dont have)
1/4 tsp saffron strands added to 600ml hot chicken stock
200gr bomba calasparra or arborio rice for paella or risotto
1/2 glass white wine
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
Season the chops, rub a little rape or olice oil and the oregano into each front and back and set aside for 30 minutes if you can.
Remove the skin from the sausages and divide into 12 pieces and roll into balls
Heat the oil and brown the lamb chops on both sides and remove to a tray
Brown the sausage balls on all sides and remove to a tray
Add a little more oil to the pan and add the garlic and onion and fry gently until soft
Add the sliced red peppers, tomato puree and cook out for a minute
add the rice and stir well to coat for cook gently for a minute
Add the wine if using and bubble off for 30 seconds then add the stock
Bring to the boil and reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes
Stir in the mint
Pour into one large oven proof dish or divide into 4 oven proof dishes, press the lamb chops and sausage
balls into the rice and cook in the oven for about 18 minutes until the rice is cooked.
If you wish your lamb to be rarer then put into the oven for about 10 minutes without the lamb then
simply add the lamb for the last 8-10 minutes.
Top up with a little hot water if needed.
Serve as is – delicious,