Slow Roast Lamb With Ancho Chilli And Garlic Marinade

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Spring is finally here in Western Australia and lamb is back on the menu!

This is a great recipe of you are feeding people who aren’t too keen on chilli, bags of flavour and not too spicy. It is also slow cooked so, ideal if you are entertaining as you really have very little to do once the lamb is in the oven.

It can easily feed a bigger crowd, just add more side dishes but the leftovers are divine too, I’ll share my Mexican Stir Fried Rice recipe soon using leftovers from this lamb!

I serve this with steamed rice, fresh salsa, salad, guacamole, tostades and refried beans, that way everyone can have as little or as much as they like!

Serves 10.

2.5kg leg of lamb

3 red onions, peeled and sliced into 1cm rings

3 dried ancho chillies

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

200mls water, just under boiling point

8 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons ground coriander

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1.5 litres chicken stock

Method

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Centigrade. Line the base of a roasting tin with the onion rings to create  a rack to keep the meat off the base, initially.

Prepare the marinade now. Place the chillies in a heat proof bowl, add the nearly boiled water and cider vinegar. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Once the chillies have soaked, carefully lift them from the water, remove the stem and seeds and return to the water. Now add all of the remaining ingredients except the onions, lamb and stock.

Using a stick blender, whizz the marinade to a thick paste.

Take the leg of lamb, using a sharp knife, stab it multiple times to at least 5cm at its thickest part.

Pour the marinade over and push it down into the cuts, make sure all of the meat is covered, underside too.

Lay the lamb onto the bed of onion rings, pour the chicken stock around the lamb, seal completely with foil and slide into the oven.

Bake for 6 hours, turn the oven up to 200 degrees Centigrade, spoon off as much of the fat as you can and return the lamb to the oven to crisp up a little, around 30 minute

Now, using tongs, pull off large chunks of meat and drop them into the pan juices, as you come across the bones remove them all. You should now have a pan of meat, juices and onions, I give this a gentle stir and then serve.

 

Meatballs With Cranberries

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These little gems lend themselves to filling flat breads with hummus, salad and yogurt or skewered with fancy cocktail sticks as a party nibble.

Younger children love them too as the cranberries and glaze add a lovely sweetness that most children adore and as a mum I love the sneaky vegetables!

Makes 32, serves 6.

Ingredients

500g minced beef

180g carrots, peeled and grated

300g courgette/zucchini, grated

4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 egg, beaten

4 teaspoons ground cumin

3 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground all spice

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon sumac

100g dried cranberries

salt to taste

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons tomato ketchup

Method

Combine all of the ingredients except the molasses, vinegar and ketchup.

Using your hands mix the ingredients very well.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade, line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Heat a large frying pan over medium to high heat, add a little oil.

Form the meat mix into small balls,  I get around 32 balls.

Add one third of the balls to the hot pan and cook, just to seal and colour a little. Remove the meatballs and place them on the prepared baking tray.

Continue and seal the remaining balls. Place them all on the baking tray.

In a small bowl, combine the molasses, vinegar and ketchup. Spoon this over the meatballs, making sure each one has a coating of glaze.

Slide the tray into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Baked Teriyaki Chicken

 

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Teriyaki chicken can be a bit of a minefield when you have to be gluten free so this is my easy homemade version that the boys love!

Gluten free, dairy free and egg free doesnt mean flavour free!

Serves 8.

Ingredients

1.2kgs skinless chicken thighs, 1-2 cm diced

6 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon sake

thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2-3 teaspoons sesame seeds

Method

In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients except the sesame seeds.

Allow to marinade for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Centigrade.

Line the base of a roasting tin with baking parchment.

Tip the chicken and marinade in and bake for 30 minutes, stir and return to the oven, bake for a further 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly until the marinade has completely evaporated and the chicken is sticky.

Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and serve.

Garlic And Fennel Meatballs With Onion And Balsamic Sauce

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As a family we love meatballs in sauce but sometimes I want to get away from the rich tomato sauces that the boys favour and this is when I reach for my Balsamic vinegar. By the end of cooking you have a mild vinegar flavour with a lovely sweetness from the onions and Balsamic.

You can make this ahead of time and just do the final simmer or bake before serving.

To make this gluten free I simply use gluten free penne.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

1kg minced pork

6 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

salt and pepper

30mls olive oil

4 onions, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves plus three sprigs

100mls balsamic vinegar

350mls water

a small handful freshly chopped parsley

Method

Using a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic, fennel, salt and pepper until you have a paste.

In a large bowl, combine the pork, thyme leaves and garlic paste. Use your hands to combine the meat, thyme and paste very well.

Form into small, walnut sized balls, I get around 32 meatballs. Set aside.

In a large oven proof frying pan, heat the oil and add the onions, cook until they are soft.

Tip the onions into a bowl and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pan if you need it and then add the meatballs, cook over a medium to high heat until they are sealed on all sides.

Return the onions to the pan, add the balsamic vinegar and water and bring up to a simmer, now, you can either cook this on the stove top, around 30 minutes gently bubbling away to reduce the sauce or pop the pan into a preheated, 200 degrees Centigrade, oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve with pasta.

 

 

Baked Sausages With Veggies

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Some nights, time or ingredients are limited and in order to get meat and three veg on the table I need to take some shortcuts! Tonight was one of those nights.

What was supposed to be gluten free toad in the hole, quickly morphed into sausages and veggies to save on dishes and make sure the boys did eat some vegetables on a busy night.

The better your sausages the less likely you are to need any gravy, I serve this with some hot English mustard.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

12 large fat, gluten free, pork sausages, around 1kg

12 rashers of streaky bacon

a little olive oil

2 red onions sliced

4-6 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped into large chunks

750-1000g tiny baby potatoes

1-2 large heads of broccoli, florets and a little stalk

pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

In a large roasting tin, lay out the onion slices, carrot chunks and potatoes.

Wrap each sausage with a bacon rasher and place on top of the vegetables.

Drizzle with a little olive oil. Season with pepper.

Pop the roasting tin into the oven and bake for 45 minutes.

Turn the sausages and return to the oven for 15 minutes.

Now, place the broccoli on top, tucking it into the other ingredients a little and bake for 15 minutes.

Tortilla Soup

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The boys have been watching a serious amount of Food Network recently on the television and requested this after one particular programme.

Here in Australia, it can be hard to find the correct chillies to make this a truely authentic tortilla soup so I’ve improvised with what I can find.

I like to make a batch of chicken stock from chicken wings for this and then use the meat from the wings in the soup at the end, I love the no waste way it works!

I start this recipe by making a paste that has tonnes of flavour, using the same technique as I use for starting my curries off. By the time you have cooked he paste down you shoul have half to a third of the original quantity and it should be really thick.

With two chipotle chillies this is pretty spicy so play around with your chilli amounts, younger kids might like one chilli with the seeds removed.

Tonight I didn’t have any corn tortillas lying around so nachos did just as well!

Ingredients

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

1-2 chipotle chillies in Adobe sauce, seeds removed

6 large roma tomatoes, quartered

80mls water

30mls olive oil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

4 teaspoons ground cumin

2 litres chicken stock

juice of 1 lime

EXTRAS

Chopped chicken

Sliced avocado

Grated cheese

Tortillas

Method

Using a stick blender, whizz up the onion, garlic, chipotle chillies and Adobe sauce, tomatoes and water.

Heat the oil over medium heat in your soup pan, once hot, pour in the tomato mix and cook down, stirring regularly, allowing the water to evaporate until you have a thick paste in the bottom of the pan.

Add the stock and bring up to the boil, add the lime juice.It’s now ready to serve, I fill the soup bowl with chicken, top with the soup, cheese, avocado and fried tortilla strips or nachos.

Stirfried Rice With Sweetcorn And Chipotle Chilli

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Admittedly, this sounds a bit odd but as a way of using up leftovers and giving them a new lease in life this is fantastic recipe.

I like to have this rice with Mexican themed food but it goes well with pretty much anything and I’ve happily eaten the rice on its own or with an egg for breakfast.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

60mls olive oil

50mls water

1 clove garlic

2 chipotle chillies in adobe sauce, seeds removed

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

600g cooked and cooled rice

400g frozen sweetcorn, defrosted

60g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks roughly chopped

Method

Using a stick blender, whizz the oil, water, garlic, chipotle chillies and adobe sauce to form a thin paste.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, pour the chipotle paste into the pan and cook over the medium heat until all of the water has evaporated.

Turn the heat up to high and add the rice, breaking up any lumps.

Stir the rice well so that it’s completely covered in the chipotle paste.

Add the sweetcorn to the pan and again stir well.

Now, stirring the rice occasionally, cook for 5 minutes, I like to let it form a crust on the base as it cooks as this adds lots of colour to the dish.

Stir through the coriander and serve.