Leg Of Lamb With Red Wine And Garlic

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This is one of the simplest ways to roast lamb and gives you spoonable, moist meat, full of flavour with the added benefit of the potatoes cooking with the meat and pan juices to save you making gravy.

While the oven is on for this I like to roast some veggies at the same time, tonight it was beetroot, carrot and parsnip with some fresh parsley, thyme and rosemary.

Use the pan juices to pour over the meat as you serve, any leftover meat and juices can be used to make shepherds pie the following night.

Serves 8-10 depending on portions

Ingredients

2.8kg leg of lamb

4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

50mls olive oil

2 onions, peeled and cut into 1cm rings

750mls red wine

750mls stock or water

salt and pepper

2-2.5kg baby potatoes, skin on

Method

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Centigrade.

Take the leg of lamb and stab all over with a sharp knife, slide a slice of garlic into each stab hole. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper.

Lay the solid onion rings into the base of a roasting tin, place the lamb on top and pop into the oven for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven, pour in the wine and stock, cover tightly with foil, return to the oven and turn down the temperature to 160 degrees Centigrade. Roast for four hours.

After the four hour roast, add the potatoes to the pan, cover again and roast for 1 hour.

Now, carefully pour as much of the pan juice as you can out of the roasting tin into a small pan.

Return to the oven to let the meat and potatoe colour up, around an hour, basting occasionally.

The meat will be spoonable so no need to carve, I just use some tongs to pull it off and reheat the pan juices to pour over the top.

Molasses Glazed Bacon and Cheese Meatloaf

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Meatloaf is very popular in our house and to make it gluten free I cheat and use crushed gluten free corn chips instead of hunting around looking for gluten free breadcrumbs in the freezer!

As the chipotle chilli goes in the food processor to be chopped I do try to remove most of the seeds so that it isn’t too spicy for the younger taste buds around our table but feel free to keep the seeds in if you like a little extra heat.

Makes 1 large meatloaf which feeds 6. I normally double the recipe and bake two at a time on seperate baking sheets and freeze one for a later date, this meatloaf freezes brilliantly. If you do have any leftovers they are lovely in a sandwich the next day.

Ingredients

150g full flavoured Cheddar cheese

100g corn chips, gluten free

200g bacon, smoked if possible, rind removed

2 eggs

175g brown onions, peeled and quartered

1 chipotle chilli in Adobe sauce, seeds removed

500g minced pork

1 tablespoon molasses

2 teaspoons dried oregano

freshly ground pepper

GLAZE

50mls gluten free Worcestershire sauce

100mls tomato ketchup

1 tablespoon molasses

Method

In a food processor, grate the cheese, pour into a large bowl and change the grater blade to the regular blade.

Now whizz the bacon and egg until finely chopped, tip onto the cheese.

Finally whizz the onion and chipotle chilli until roughly chopped. Tip this onto the cheese mix. Add some pepper.

Add the minced pork to the bowl along with the molasses and oregano, use your hands to combine the meat very well.

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

Form the meat into a long fat sausage, around 30cm long and 5-6cm diameter.

Combine the glaze ingredients and brush over the meatloaf. Keep the leftover glaze.

Bake the meatloaf for 60 minutes, regularly brush the glaze over every 15 minutes. Glaze more frequently towards the end of cooking but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn!

 

 

Bacon And Egg Cups With Capsicum

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We have been playing around with different lunch box options for the boys this weekend and these came back as a winner. Great in the school lunch boxes or as a breakfast option.

Makes 4 egg cups.

Ingredients

4 rashers streaky bacon, rind removed

4 eggs

30mls cream

40g cheese, grated

1/2 small red capsicum, finely diced

salt and pepper

Method

Line a six hole muffin tray with four paper cases.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

Take a piece of bacon and line the sides of the paper case with it.

Beat the eggs and cream in a jug. Season well.

Sprinkle a little cheese onto the base of each prepared case, now sprinkle in one eighth of the capsicum on top.

Prepare all of the muffin cases as above.

Now, gently pour in the egg. Top with the capsicum and then cheese.

Slide the tray into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.

 

Chestnut And Chocolate Cake

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This has become one of our favourite gluten free cakes and rightly so!

Moist and not too chocolaty, it’s loved by the adults and kids and to be honest, you really can’t tell that it’s gluten free!

Serves 12-16.

Ingredients

200g 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate

6 eggs, separated

125g butter at room temperature

1x 439g tin unsweetened chestnut puree

70g caster sugar

4 tablespoons Baileys liqueur

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade.

Grease and line a 23cm spring form tin.

Melt the chocolate, I cheat and use the microwave but keep an eye on it and stir frequently.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff.

In another large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and chestnut. Add the Baileys and slowly beat in the egg yolks, now add the chocolate and combine well.

Take around a quarter of the egg whites and fold into the chocolate mix, once combined, gently fold in the remaining whites.

Spoon into the prepared tin and pop in the oven.

Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Allow to cool in the tin.

I decorated ours with whipped cream and a little grated dark chocolate.

 

Minced Beef With Spices And Fresh Herbs

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Ok, now this recipe needs to be on your radar if, like me, some days are a little on the mad side and time is short! Think of this as a middle eastern inspired stir fry, odd I know but it works and as the boys eat it with their hands, a huge hit in our house!

The fresh herbs really make this zing but feel free to mix them up and just use what you have to hand, fresh coriander and fresh oregano work well too.

The photo shows our gluten free option but the rest of the family use  Lebanese bread or pitta bread. If you want to do this dairy free, omit the yogurt and maybe add a wee dollop of hummus?

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

30mls oil

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon ground cumin

4 teaspoons sumac

4 teaspoons zatar

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

700g minced/ground beef

600g cooked and cut to 2cm dice potatoes, skin still on

200mls stock or water

500g frozen peas

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

Method

Heat the oil in a very large frying pan, mine is a 32cm diameter and this just fits!

Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour the spices into the pan and stir until fragrant, only 30 seconds or so.

Add the beef to the pan and over a high heat brown the meat.

Add the potatoes and stock or water, turn the heat down to medium and simmer until the liquid has evaporated, it doesn’t take long in such a big pan.

Now add the peas and keep stirring to cook them through and lightly fry the meat and potatoes. Season well.

Stir through the fresh herbs at the end and serve with flat bread and yogurt.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms With Tarragon And Taleggio

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I love mushrooms but unfortunately the boys aren’t keen so this is my way of having a mushroom all to myself! These are BIG mushrooms, around 100g each so really a meal in themselves! You can use small mushrooms and serve them as a little nibble, both work well.

Makes 2 large stuffed mushrooms.

Ingredients

2 large portobello mushrooms, around 100g each

12 drained sundried tomato halves, diced finely

2 teaspoons of oil from the drained tomatoes

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 teaspoons freshly chopped parsley

1 teaspoon freshly chopped tarragon

salt and pepper

80-100g taleggio or fresh mozzarella

 Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.

Once hot, add the chopped onion, garlic and tomatoes and cook gently for 5 minutes until the onion is soft.

Take off the heat and add the parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper.

Remove the stem from each mushroom and spoon the tomato mixture into the two mushrooms.

Slice the taleggio and lay on top of the tomato mixture.

Place the mushrooms onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is golden.

Baked Green Chicken

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An odd name I know!

My husband has a dislike for parsley and the garden is producing mountains of it just now so I need to sneak it in to as many things as I can! When he saw this before it was baked the shade of green made him call it Hulk chicken, it is that green!

You can barbecue this chicken too, it has fabulous flavour for such simple ingredients.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

1.8kg chicken pieces, bone in, skin on

2 lemons, juiced

4-5 cloves garlic, chopped

a big bunch of fresh parsley

30mls olive oil

salt and pepper

Method

Combine all of the ingredients, except the chicken, in a food processor and whizz until you have a thick but pourable paste, you may need to add a little more oil.

Place the chicken in a large bowl and pour over the marinade, use your hands to cover all of the chicken in green, leave to marinade for 30 minutes if you have time.

Preaheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Place the chicken skin side up on the tray, pour over any remaining marinade, and slide into the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes and then baste with the pan juices, do this a few times until the chicken is fully cooked and the skin is crispy.