recipes for healthy living

Tag: lamb

Spiced Leg of lamb & potatoes

Spiced Leg of Lamb with Potatoes Boulangere, Green Beans with Punchpooran

This is a very popular recipe in our house and one i love doing when we have people coming over. It is easy too, so I don’t have to be slaving away in the kitchen when people arrive.   This is family food at its best.-


Serves 5-6

1 leg or shoulder of lamb

2 cloves of garlic peeled and roughly chopped

1 shallot roughly shopped

2 tbsp of garam masala spice mix

2-3 tbsp coconut or olive oil

8 medium white potatoes or a mix of white and sweet potatoes

400ml vegetable stock

2tsp fresh thyme chopped


Oven at 200C

Peel the potatoes and thinly slice

Layer the potatoes, seasoning well as you go in a roasting tin big enough to hold the leg of lamb. Sprinkle over the chopped thyme.

Splash the stock over the potatoes.

Add the oil garlic shallot and spices to a blender and blend to a rough paste.

Pierce the lamb and lay out on a board and spread the paste over both sides.

Season well with salt and pepper.

Lay the lamb on top of the potatoes and cover the pan with foil and roast for 20 mins per lb and 20 minutes over for medium.  After about an hour, remove the oil and press the potatoes down to ensure they are still in the stock. Replace the foil lid and continue to cook.

If you want to slow roast it then turn the oven down to 150C and roast for about 4-4/12 hours until the lamb is falling off the bone.

Remove the lamb to a warm plate, cover and let rest. Keep the potatoes warm in the oven while you prepare the beans below.

Green Beans with punchpooran


This is a whole mixed spice blend of cumin fennel mustard nigella and fenugreek seeds. If you can’t get this, substitute with equal quantities (1/4 tsp) of each of the above.  It is delicious addition to the green beans.

500gr green beans, washed and trimmed

1 tbsp punchpooran

Zest and juice of ½ lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

Blanch the green beans for 3 minutes, plunge into ice cold water and drain then set aside.

Toast the punchpooran on a hot pan until the aromas release then tip into a bowl and let cool

Add the lemon zest, juice, olive oil and mix to combine

When ready to serve add 2 tbsp hot water to a frying pan and tip in the beans to reheat.

Add to your serving bowl and drizzle over the dressing

Sumac and Lemon Spiced Lamb Chops with Chickpea Puree

sumac lamp chops

This spice mix works so well on the lamp chops and is perfect with the chickpea puree. It is a quick and easy meal for family and friends.

Serves 4

8 lamb chops
1/2 tsp sumac
1 tsp nigella seeds
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp cumin and coriander seeds
1 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp oil separated
2 tbsp fresh mint chopped
2 tins chickpeas (reserve half tin liquid)
1 clove garlic peeled chopped and mashed
1 shallot finely chopped
2 tbsp of madeira (Optional)
1 small knob of butter

Dry toast the coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant. Tip into a mortar and pestle and grind.  Tip out into a flat dish, add the sumac, nigella, zest and plain flour and mix well.
Season your lamp chops and press each side into the spice mix and set aside for 30 minutes to develop the flavors.
Meanwhile , heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the shallot and garlic and cook over a gentle heat until softened. Tip in the chickpeas and the reserved liquid and simmer for about 5 minutes over a gentle heat. Tip into a blender and blend well, adding the other tbsp of oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper as required. Tip into a pot and keep warm while you cook the chops.
Heat the oil and in batches, brown the chops well on both sides. IF you wish you can complete the cooking on the pan (medium is about 4-6 minutes depending on thickness) but I like to transfer to a hot oven to complete the cooking .
Deglaze the pan with 1 tbsp madeira, add lemon juice and 30ml water and a small knob of butter. Season and add the chopped mint.
Serve the chickpea mash with 2 chops and some of the pan sauce.

Easy and delicious!

Autumn Walks and a delicious casserole

OO&L Stew I

Autumn is officially here and it has turned a little bit chilly. One of life’s simple pleasures is a bowl of delicious stew after a family walk. Such an easy option for feeding a hungry family on cold days. Easy to make too, all you need is some good quality ingredients and let time do its thing.

I made this stew at the weekend and included some delicious courgette tarts which I put into the bottom of the bowl to serve the stew on on. ‘You’re very fancy’ was my sisters response, ‘no ordinary bowl of stew in this house’. In truth, I wanted to road test whether you can make the stew a bit more refined for when I have some friends round…. Not that I told her she wasn’t ordinarily worth the effort.

Slow Cooked Lamb Casserole
Oven at 160C
Serves 6
3 lbs lamb shoulder trimmed to 2” chunks or 2 shoulders of lamb boned and trimmed.
(This recipe works equally well with beef or pork)

4 tbsp Rapeseed oil
5 carrots peeled and evenly chopped
3 Shallots peeled and sliced.
1 bouquet garni of thyme, rosemary and bay
13 fl oz good quality meat stock
110ml red wine
3 handfuls Flat leaf parsley chopped finely for serving.

In a heavy pan, heat the oil over high heat until smoking and add your seasoned meat in batches.
Sear until caramelised on all sides.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
Tip out the excess oil, deglaze with a few glugs of wine and pour the deglazed liquid onto the meat.
Turn the heat down to medium, add some more rapeseed oil and add the shallots and carrots, season well and cook for 5 minutes or so until the shallots are slightly translucent.
Add the wine, bring up to a bubble and then cook until it has reduced by about half.
Return the meat to the pot and add the stock.
Ensure you have enough liquid to cover the meat – if not, add more stock.
Bring to the boil and transfer to preheated oven for about 1.5 hours – 2 hours.
Keep cooking until the meat is meltingly tender.
Check it from time to time and remove any grease which rises to the top of the cooking pot.
I usually strain the cooking liquid into a separate pot and cook at a bubble until the sauce is reduced to a nice consistency.
Just before serving, return the sauce to the pot with the meat and bring meat up to hot temperature and serve with delicious creamy mash on the side.


Butterflied Leg of Lamb

Butterflied leg of lamb

Once upon a time I thought I did not like lamb, for a start I thought that anything that played chasing and jumped off rocks (true story, I saw it with my own eyes)was too cute to eat. A personal investment in a full time cooking course with no option but to cook it soon changed my mind and now it is one of my go to meats for a family occasion, budget permitting. Irish grass fed lamb is among the best in the world, it needs very little to add flavour and this recipe needs little preparation to ensure a delicious easy crowd pleaser. Served with some red cabbage slaw and roasted root veg for a perfect lazy lunch.

2 Garlic cloves peeled and mashed
1 tsp each of ground coriander, cuimin and sweet paprika
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
4 tbsp rape seed oil
Juice of a lemon

1 leg of lamb boned and butterflied

Apply the rub to the lamb then skewer the lamb so that it is easier to handle on and off the barbq
Mix the marinade ingredients together in a shallow tin and add the lamb, spoon over the marinade, season well and leave to absorb the flavours – a few hours even better overnight.
Lift the lamb out of the marinade and lay it on your hot barbecue.
Don’t move it until it cooks underneath – if you try and move it before it is ready it will stick and tear. Once it is cooked underneath (about 5-7 minutes),turn it over and finish cooking. During the cooking, baste it with any left over marinade.
Let rest before carving and tip onto a large serving platter and enjoy.
Serve with tricolour slaw from here.

Slow (Slow) Roast Leg of Lamb and a Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tarts

Strawberry Syrup Ii

Roasted Leg of Lamb

Lamb Platter

St Patrick’s Day fell really nicely this year resulting in a long weekend with a Bank Holiday Monday. With my (big) family invited over for lunch it was important not to waste too much time in the kitchen cooking so I settled for an easy slow roast leg of lamb. Actually it was 1 and a 1/2 legs of lamb as it was a big gang and it was perfect for what turned out to be a cold and wet St. Patrick’s Day. I covered the lamb in the herb and garlic rub the previous day and slow roasted in the oven for nearly 8 hours it was meltingly tender and falling off the bone. As simple dish of minted peas and a large dish of gratin potatoes made a meal which resulted in the plates nearly licked clean! Anchovies, garlic and rosemary are a classic combination (not made up by me, I have to say, though I have no idea of where I first got this) and I raided Donna Hay for Dessert but added my own twist on a strawberry syrup with the addition of Chambord and a reduction in the amount of sugar. Both these recipes were crowd pleasers to which I definitely will return.

Slow Roast Leg of Lamb
For each leg of lamb
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced lengthways into thin slivers
Marinade made from:-
1 small 50gm can anchovies chopped finely
About 2 large sprigs of rosemary chopped finely
4 large garlic cloves peeled and mashed
75ml olive oil

During cooking
1/2 bottle white wine / water if preferred
Preheat the oven to 150C.

Place a trivet of vegetables into your roasting pan (onions, carrots, unpeeled garlic a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary) and drizzle over a little oil.
With a small sharp knife, make a load of incisions in the fleshy side of the leg and Insert into each a thin slice garlic.
Combine the rest of the ingredients and rub well all over the meat.
Grind over plenty of black pepper. Place the lamb in a roasting pan and pour some water into the base and about half the wine.
Cover with foil, Put in the oven and roast for 6 hours – up to 8 hours until meltingly tender and falling off the bone.
Check from time to time and add water / wine if the bottom is dry.
Remove the meat out of the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for at about 10 minutes before shredding apart.
Keep the meat warm while you finish the gravy.
Taste the juices and see if any salt is necessary— probably not because of the anchovies.
Drain the fat off the juices, and mash all the veggies into the left over juices
Sprinkle in a little flour if it’s very thin and mix well to cook out.
Strain through a sieve mashing to extract as much as possible of the juice.
Serve a big platter of lamb with a dish of minted peas, some gratin potatoes and the gravy.

Strawberry Mascarpone Tart (Donna Hay)
2 x 300g punnets strawberries, hulled and halved
200g plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
100g cold butter, chopped
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

750g mascarpone cheese
50g icing sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tbsp preserved lemon syrup
125ml cream whipped to gentle peaks

Strawberry syrup
1 300g punnet fresh strawberries
50g caster (superfine) sugar
1 tablespoon water
3 tbsp Chambord / Framboise
To make the Strawberry syrup, place the berries, sugar, water and chambord in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes or so until it starts to reduce. Mash the straberries a bit in order to extract maximum flavour. Strain the syrup and allow to cool.

Place the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and vanilla and process in short bursts until the pastry just comes together. Add a few tbsp of ice cold water if needed. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and work quickly with your hands to form a ball. Flatten the pastry, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C . Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until 3mm (f in) thick. Line a 24cm (9in) round fluted tart tin or 6 mini tins with the pastry, trim the edges and prick the base with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Line the pastry with baking paper, fill with baking weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake for a further 5-8 minutes or until golden. Bake for 10 and 3 minutes approx if using the small tin sizes. Set aside to cool.

Place the mascarpone, preserved lemon syryup and vanilla in a bowl and beat to combine and loosen the mascarpone.
Fold the cream into the mascarpone and spoon into the tart shell and smooth the top. Arrange the strawberries on the tart and drizzle with the syrup. Serves 8.

Spring Flowers

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