Meat

LAMB, ZUCCHINI & HALOUMI BURGERS with SESAME SALT

COMMENTS: These quick burgers from Jan 2013 "delicious" are perfect for a family mid-week dinner or equally perfect for a weekend catchup.

MAKES 8

INGREDIENTS: 
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
2 zucchinis
1 red onion, grated
600g lamb mince
100g haloumi, grated
1/2 cup mint, finely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve
1/2 cup (140g) thick Greek-style yoghurt
Olive oil, to brush
8 small white or brioche rolls, split
Hummus & lemon wedges to serve

METHOD:
Heat a small frypan over medium-high heat. Toast cumin and sesame seeds for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl, combine with 1 tablespoon of sea salt flakes, then set aside.
Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, shave 1 zucchini into ribbons. Set aside. 
Coarsely grate remaining zucchini, then place in a clean tea towel and squeeze to remove any excess moisture. Combine with onion, lamb mince, haloumi, mint and 2 tablespoons yoghurt in a bowl and mix well. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Form mixture into 8 small patties, then chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat a barbecue or chargrill pan to medium-high. Brush burgers with oil, then cook for 2-3 minutes each side until just cooked. Transfer to a plate and loosely cover with foil.
Brush zucchini ribbons with oil, then cook for 1 minute each side or until lightly charred and tender.
Spread hummus onto roll bases, then top with a slice of zucchini and a burger. Season with reserved sesame salt, top with the roll lid, then serve with yoghurt, extra mint leaves and lemon wedges.



SWEET MISO STEAK WITH RAMEN

COMMENTS: This steak from October 'delicious' is marinated with miso paste which gives it a lovely flavour that my daughter declared "magnificent". You can find miso paste in the Asian section of Woollies/Coles.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS:
100g miso paste
1/3 cup (80ml) mirin 
1/3 cup (80g) firmly packed brown sugar
500g beef rump, sliced
270g ramen noodles
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
350g mixed Asian mushrooms
250g snow peas, blanched, refreshed & sliced on an angle
2 spring onions, thinly sliced

METHOD:
Stir miso, mirin and sugar in a bowl. Toss with beef and marinate for 15 minutes. 
Cook noodles according to packet instructions, then drain. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large non-stick frypan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook tossing for 3-4 minutes until softened. Remove from pan and set aside. Add beef and marinade to the pan and cook, turning beef, for 5-6 minutes until browned and lightly caramelised. Return mushrooms to the pan with noodles and snow peas, then toss to combine. Divided among bowls and top with spring onions.

SUMAC & YOGHURT LAMB KEBABS

COMMENTS: This lamb from October 'delicious' was really succulent and tasty.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS:
2 teaspoons sumac
200g thick Greek style yoghurt, plus extra to serve
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 kg chopped lamb shoulder
1 tablespoon chopped mint to serve

METHOD: Soak 12 wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes. Mix sumac, yoghurt, lemon juice and garlic in a bowl. Add lamb and toss to coat. 
Thread the lamb onto skewers and season. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick frypan over medium heat. In batches cook the skewers turning for 8-10 minutes for medium or until done to your liking. Scatter lamb kebabs with chopped mint and serve with extra yoghurt.

SPRING LAMB RACK WITH CAPER & HERB CRUST AND RHUBARB COMPOTE

COMMENTS: This rack of lamb from October 'delicious' was very succulent and tasty with the rhubarb compote and the caramelised eschalots from the pan. Very quick and easy to prepare and a hit with the kids too, although I did cut down on the garlic a bit. Prepare the compote and crust before your guests arrive so you are ready to go.

SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
2 French-trimmed 8 cutlet lamb racks
8 eschalots, halved

Caper & herb crust
2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed, drained
4 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
8 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
finely grate zest & juice 1 lemon
2/3 cup (100g) chopped peanuts

Rhubarb compote
(Makes 2 cups)
2 bunches rhubarb, trimmed, stems cut into 1cm pieces
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1.5 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

METHOD:
Place rhubarb in a saucepan over medium-high heat with sugar and 2 cups (500ml) water. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to medium to simmer for 10-12 minutes. Stir in pomegranate molasses, then set aside to cool. Chill for 30 minutes at least before serving.
For the crust, place the capers, herbs, garlic, oil, lemon zest & juice and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper in a food processor and whiz for 1 minute or until very finely chopped. Add the peanuts and process until just combined. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a frypan over medium heat. Season lamb then cook, turning for 1 minute each side or until just browned. Rest for 15 minutes, then press crust onto each lamb rack. 
Preheat oven to 200*C. 
Place eschalot on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and place lamb on top. Roast for 35 minutes for medium-rare or until cooked to your liking. Rest for 10 minutes.
Carve the lamb and serv with the roasted eschalot and rhubarb compote.

MASSAMAN LAMB CUTLETS WITH CRUNCHY COCONUT POTATOES

COMMENTS: These cutlets stay so moist and tender inside and go crunchy on the outside.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup (75g) Massaman curry paste
1/2 cup (125ml) coconut cream
1/3 cup (30g) desiccated coconut, toasted
2/3 cup (100g) finely ground roasted peanuts
12 French trimmed lamb cutlets
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup (80ml) sunflower oil
1kg King Edward or sebago potatoes cut into 2cm pieces blanched
coriander leaves, lime wedges and natural yoghurt to serve

METHOD: Preheat the oven to 200*C and line a baking tray with foil.
Combine curry paste, coconut cream, 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut and half the peanuts in a bowl. Coat the cutlets in the mixture and marinate for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the spices and 1/4 (60ml) all in a saucepan over medium heat for 3 minutes or until the oil is hot and fragrant. Scatter the potato on the tray, then pour over the oil and season. Roast for 20-25 minutes until golden and crisp. Toss potatoe with the remaining 2 tablespoons coconut and 1/3 cup (50g) peanuts.
While the potatoes are roasting, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large frypan. Season the lamb, then in batches, cook for 2-3 minutes each side for medium-rare. Rest for 5 minutes. Serve with potatoes, coriander leaves, lime and yoghurt.

SLOW-COOKED MIDDLE EASTERN BEEF WITH SPICES

COMMENTS: This tagine from 'Monday Morning Cooking Club' cooks in one pot without any pre-browning of the meat necessary which makes it quick & easy to prepare and throw into the oven. You grate the tomatoes straight into the pot which means no need to remove the skin making it even easier. I did add about 1 cup of water half way through the cooking. They gave a recipe for Ras el Hanout but it is so much easier just to buy! Serve with Baked Beans, Turkish Style http://www.ilove2cook.net/61598178 and rice.

SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS:
1kg chuck steak, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm pieces
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Ras el Hanout
1/2 teaspoon harissa
1/4 teaspoon each ground pepper & salt
3 ripe tomatoes
1 1/2 pieces preserved lemon
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh coriander
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley

METHOD:
Preheat the oven to 140*C.  Place the beef in a deep casserole dish. Add the onion, garlic, oil, Ras el Hanout, harissa, pepper and salt. Toss the meat with the marinade. Halve the tomatoes crossways and scoop out the seeds and discard. Coarsely grate the tomatoes down to the skin, straight into the casserole. Discard the skins. Rinse the preserved lemons, remove the pulp and membrane and dice the rind. Add to the meat, reserving some for garnish. Add the honey and 1 tablespoon of each coriander and parsley. Stir well then cover and cook in the oven for 3.5 hours or until the meat is tender. Juice from the meat should keep the dish moist but check after 1 1/2 hours of cooking and add a little water if necessary and stir it. When cooked, transfer to a serving dish, scatter over the preserved lemon rind and remaining herbs.

VIETNAMESE BEEF PHO

COMMENTS: This dish from August "delicious" is so flavoursome and a bit of fun to watch the beef cook in the hot broth as you serve it! I reckon I had it ready in about 20 minutes flat. I used a fillet steak.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS:
1L (4 cups) beef stock
5cm piece of ginger, halved
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 star anise
2 cinnamon quills, lightly crushed
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/3 cup (80mls) fish sauce
350g flat rice noodles
350g beef fillet, thinly sliced
2 long red chillies, sliced
125g bean sprouts
A handful each mint, coriander & basil leaves
6 spring onions, thinly sliced

METHOD:
Place the stock in a large saucepan with the ginger, onion, garlic, star anise, cinnamon, sugar, fish sauce and 4 cups of water. Bring to the boil and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Strain, discarding solids. 
Meanwhile cook noodles according to packet instructions and drain well.
To serve, divide noodles among 4 bowls and top with the sliced beef. Ladle over the hot stock, then top with the chilli, bean sprouts, basil, mint, coriander and spring onions.


SOY & MIRIN-SIMMERED BEEF ON RICE

COMMENTS:
This recipe from Bill Granger's "Holiday" is so tasty yet so simple and takes only as long as the rice takes to cook.  It is classic Japanese flavours. I like to add some sliced mushrooms, Chinese cabbage and bean sprouts to bulk it up a bit. Serve without rice for a low carb option.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS:
150mls white wine
100mls soy sauce
100mls mirin
2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1 white onion, thinly sliced
500g rump steak, thinly sliced
To Serve:
steamed rice
baby spinach
pickled ginger

METHOD:
Put the white wine, soy, mirin, ginger, sugar and 100mls of water in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring to dissolve the sugar, bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Add the onion and simmer for 4-5 minutes until the onion is soft.  Add the beef and simmer for a further 1-2 minutes until just cooked through.

To serve, spoon rice and spinach into 4 bowls. Top with the beef and onion and ladle over some of the hot broth. Garnish with the pickled ginger.

SLOW COOKED BEEF & RED WINE

COMMENTS: This recipe from Bill Granger appeared in Aug 2012 delicious on the cover. Bill served it with pappardelle, however I topped it with pastry for a beef pie. (I also used beef brisket instead of the ribs and reduced the stock to 2 cups). It would also be great topped with mashed potato for a sheppard's pie.

SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5kg beef short ribs
30g unsalted butter
150g chopped pancetta
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup (70g) tomato paste
1 cup (250ml) red wine
3 cups beef stock
2 thyme sprigs
500g pappardelle or fettuccine
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsely
shaved parmesan, to serve

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 160*C. 
Heat oil in a large flame-poof casserole over medium-high heat. Season ribs and, in 2 batches, cook turning, for 5-6 minutes until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium, then add 20g of butter to the pan with the pancetta, onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until softened and lightly coloured. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for one minute. Return beef to pan, add wine and simmer for 3-4 minutes until reduced by half. Add sock and thyme and bring to the boil. Cover and roast for 3 hours or until meat is falling off the bone. Stand for 20 minutes, then remove meat from ribs and set aside, discarding bones.
Season sauce and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes until slightly reduced.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling, salted water according to packet instructions. Drain and toss with remaining 10g of butter. Add pasta to the sauce with the meat and parsley, then toss gently until combined. Serve topped with shaved parmesan.

SPICED SLOW-COOKED LAMB SHANKS

COMMENTS: These shanks from Jamie Oliver's "The Naked Chef" are flavoursome and hearty for a cold winter's night. I always double the recipe.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS:
4 lamb shanks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coriander
1 small dried red chilli (or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chilli)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, quartered & finely sliced
6 sticks of celery, quartered & finely sliced
2 medium/large onions, quartered & finely chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
170ml dry white wine
6 anchovy fillets
2 * 400g tins of plum tomatoes
1 handful fresh basil, marjoram or flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

METHOD: Season the lamb with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Smash up the coriander seeds and dried chilli and mix with the chopped rosemary and dried marjoram. Roll the lamb in this mixture, pressing it in well. Dust the lamb with the flour. 
Heat a thick-bottomed casserole pan, add the oil, brown the meat on all sides and then remove from the pan. Add the garlic, carrot, celery, onions and a pinch of salt and sweat them until softened. Add the balsamic vinegar and allow it to reduce to a syrup. Pour in the white wine and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Add the anchovies (these really seem to intensify the lamb flavour) and then add the tinned tomatoes, kept whole. Shake the pan and return the lamb to it. Bring to the boil, put on the lid and simmer in the oven at 180*C for 1.5 hours, then remove the lid and cook for a further 0.5 hour. Skim off any fat and taste for seasoning. Finally, stir in a handful of roughly chopped fresh basil, marjoram or flat-leaf parsley.

SLOW-COOKED BEEF LASAGNE

COMMENTS: The beef in this flavoursome lasagne from "donna hay" Jun/Jul is cooked for 3.5hrs so it flakes apart and is very tender. I have made it with brisket but it was also good with blade steak. The meat in sauce would be delicious as a pie or with mash potato. It is really good for both freezing and reheating.

SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS:
2kgs beef brisket, trimmed and cut into 4 pieces
sea salt and cracked black pepper
plain flour for dusting
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1.5 cups dry red wine
1.5 cups beef stock
2 cups tomato passata
3 sprigs rosemary
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 fresh lasagne sheets
1 cup (100g) grated mozzarella
cheese sauce
120g butter
1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
1.5 litres (6 cups) milk
2 cups (160g) finely grated parmesan

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 180*C. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add the beef and cook for 3 minutes each side or until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside. Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Return the beef to the pan with the wine, stock, tomato passatta, rosemary, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and roast for 3-3.5 hrs or until tender. Remove the beef from the cooking liquid and use 2 forks to shred. Discard any fat. Return beef to the pan and mix with the cooking liquid. Set aside.
To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until a smooth paste forms. Gradually whisk in the milk and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add the parmesan, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside to cool to room temperature. 
Preheat oven to 200*C. Place 2 lasagne sheets in the based of a lightly greased 28cm * 40cm oven proof dish. Spread half the beef mixture over the sheets then spoon over 1/3 of the cheese sauce. Repeat lasagne sheets, beef then cheese sauce, then lasagne sheets and cheese sauce. Top with the grated mozzarella and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and cooked through.


EYE FILLET STOGANOFF

COMMENTS: This stroganoff from a "Madison" magazine a couple of years ago is really tasty. The onion & mushroom mixture you cook at the beginning would be delicious itself on some steak. I like my stroganoff with rice.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS:
100g butter
2 medium brown onions, sliced
300g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 cup (120mls) dry white wine
700g eye fillet steak, sinew removed, cut into strips
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/3 cups (320mls) passata
1 cup (250mls) beef stock
1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
handful flat leaf parsely leaves, roughly chopped

METHOD:
Heat 60g of butter in a large saucepan or frypan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for 6 minutes before adding the garlic and paprika. Cook for a further minute, add the wine and reduce until almost evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Return the pan to the heat and melt the remaining 40g of butter. Add the beef and cook for 2 minutes on high until brown. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the passata and stock, return the onions and mushrooms to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 5 minutes until the meat is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove from the heat and stir through the sour cream. Top with parsley and serve.

PORK SLIDERS

COMMENTS: I made these pulled pork sliders from "blogchef.net" for a picnic in the paddock because they were easy to serve and eat. I made apple & celeriac slaw instead of the one on the page to serve with the pulled pork on sour dough rolls because apple and pork go so well together. The pork shoulder is cooked for 6 hours in a slow cooker which I did the day before. The leftovers were equally good the day after the picnic too.

STICKY LAMB SHANKS WITH CUMIN, FIGS, GARLIC & VINE LEAVES

COMMENTS: These Greek style lamb shanks from Karen Martini in Sunday Life were really tender and sweet with the figs and honey. I didn't bother with the vine leaves as it was a bit fiddly for me! They were perfectly matched with the baked butter rice.

SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS:
80mls extra virgin olive oil
6 Frenched lamb shanks
sea salt & freshly ground pepper
12 brown shallots, peeled & sliced in half
10 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
4 sprigs oregano
3 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 small red chillies, split and seeds left in
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons honey
1.5L chicken stock
12 sticky dried figs
6 large vine leaves, rinsed

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 170*C fan forced (190*C conventional).
In a heavy ovenproof dish with a lid, heat oil over a medium heat. Add lamb shanks and cook for 5-6 minutes, turning them so to brown all over. Season well with salt and pepper. Remove shanks from pot and set aside.
Add shallots, garlic, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and chilli to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
return shanks to pot along with red wine vinegar, tomato paste and honey. Stir to combine, then add chicken stock and figs and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Cover with lid and bak in oven for 2 hours or until meat is tender and just giving from the bone. Remove shanks from liquid, allow to drain a little, then carefully wrap each shank in a large vine leaf. The sauce may be reduced a little at this stage, if necessary. Return shanks to baking dish; they should sit out of the sauce. Increase oven to 180*C and return dish to oven for 10 minutes to crisp vine leaves. Serve shanks and figs with baked rice and all the lovely pan dishes.


BEEF & ORANGE DAUBE

COMMENTS: This beef by Bill Granger in June delicious was rich and flavoursome with the sweetness of the orange zest and carrots. It was even better then next day reheated so next time I would make it a day ahead!

SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons plain flour
1.5kgs feef blade, cut into 5cm chunks
1/3 cup (80mls) olive oil
2 onions, sliced
3 carrots, thickly sliced on the angle
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
small bunch thyme, leaves picked
1 fresh bay leaf
pared zest of 1 orange
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 cups (500mls) rose wine
2 cups (500mls) beef stock
6 anchovy fillets in oil, drained, chopped
100g pitted black olives (optional)

METHOD:
Preheat the oven to 160*C.
Place flour in a bowl, season, then toss with the beef to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. In 2 batches, cook beef turning for 5-6 minutes until browned. Remove from casserole and set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in casserole, then cook onion, carrot, vinegar, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and orange zest, stirring, for 6-8 minutes until lightly coloured. Return beef to casserole with tomato, wine, stock, anchovy and black olives (if using) then season. Bring to the boil then cover with a lid, transfer to the oven and bake for 3 hours or until the meat is tender. Remove from oven, uncover and stand for a while.

SLOW COOKED PORK WITH FENNEL & APPLES

COMMENTS:
Thanks to Fiona for this fantastic recipe. It does have to cook for 5.5 to 6 hours but you aren't doing anything for most of that which makes it super easy.  You need a shoulder of pork about 4kg with bone in which you might need to pre-order so talk to your butcher. Ask them to score the pork rind for you. A large baking dish is very important so the apples & fennel can cook in the pork juices.

SERVES 10

INGREDIENTS:
4kg shoulder of pork, rind scored well
olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
3 fennel bulbs, thickly sliced
5 apples, cut in half horizontally & scored horizontally

METHOD:
1. Preheat oven to 220*C. 
2. Combine salt, fennel seeds & chilli flakes. Place pork in large baking dish and rub with olive oil. Rub the salt mixture all over the pork. 
3. Put pork oven and bake for 30 minutes.
4. Turn oven down to 140*C and bake for 4 hours.
5. After 4 hours pour off excess juice into a container and put in fridge.  Add in sliced fennel & apples. Cook for 1 hour.
6. Remove apples & fennel & put on platter.
7. Turn up oven to 220*C and cook for the final 30 minutes or until crackling crispy then rest before serving on platter with apples & fennel.
8. Meanwhile, take pork juice out of fridge and scrape off fat from top. Reheat juice and pour over pork.
9. Serve with steamed green beans and new potatoes.

HAM IN GINGERALE

COMMENTS:
I saw this ham on the Nigella Express TV series however it doesn't seem to be in the book so I have typed out here. It uses a very large 5.5kg cured gammon which you should order in advance from your butcher but make sure you have an enormous pot, or reduce the size and cooking time. Roughly it takes about 1hr per kilo to cook. If you are short on time, you can buy a cooked ham and just use the glaze.

SERVES 16

INGREDIENTS:
5.5kg mild-cure gammon
5-7 litres of gingerale

Glaze:
250g chunky ginger preserve (or combine 1 tea powdered ginger with marmalade)
2 tablespoons hot English mustard
100g dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cloves

METHOD:
Point gammon in a large pot on the stove then pour over gingerale. Bring to the boil then lower heat to a simmer and cook with a lid on loosely for 4.5 hours and check to see if cooked.  When cooked let cool a little to allow handling.
Meanwhile combine glaze ingredients. Preheat oven to 240*C.  Put ham on a baking tray lined with foil (for ease of cleaning).  Cut of the skin leaving a thin layer of fat then layer on the glaze.
Put in the oven for 20 minutes then serve.

HAM IN COCA COLA

COMMENTS:
Nigella is queen of entertaining and this Ham from Nigella Bites would be perfect for a Xmas celebration serving about 8 people. Order the cured gammon from your butcher in advance.

CRISP PORK BELLY WITH SOUR PEACH SALAD

COMMENTS:
This pork from Valli Little's "Delicious, Simply the best" was so tasty with the fresh salad. Great for the warm months when the peaches are sweet and juicy. I loved the macadamias in the salad for a bit of crunch. Ridiculously easy to prepare. Get your butcher to score your pork belly.

SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS:
1kg boneless pork belly, skin on
3 garlic cloves, grated
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon five spice
sea salt

Sour Peach Salad
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/3 cup lime juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted chopped macadamias
4 eschalots, thinly sliced
2 cups mixed herbs (such as Thai basil, coriander & mint)
3 slightly under-ripe peaches, cut into wedges

METHOD:
Score the pork belly skin in a crisscross pattern.  Place pork on a rack in the sink and pour over a kettle of boiling water (this will result in crisp crackling). Pat dry with paper towel.
Combine garlic, soy sauce, oil, chilli flakes and five spice in a bowl with 2 teaspoons of sea salt.  Rub marinade into pork skin. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 220*C.
Place pork on a rack in a roasting pan, skin side up. Pour enough boiling water to fill the pan to just below the rack and roast for 30 minutes or until the skin is crispy. Reduce temperature to 180*C and cook for a further 1.5hrs or until the meat is tender. Rest, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes.
For the sour peach salad, combine the oil, lime juice, garlic, chilli, sugar, fish sauce and soy sauce in a bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Place the macadamias, eschalot, herbs and peach in a bowl. Drizzle over most of the dressing and toss to combine.
Carve the pork including the crackling, drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve with the sour peach salad.

HERB-RUBBED LAMB CUTLETS WITH PEA & FETA SALAD

COMMENTS:
These cutlets are really tasty and would be great with any salad for a super fast dinner.  With the pea & feta salad it makes a great low-carb dinner.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 garlic cloves
2 long red chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped sage leaves
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
12 French-trimmed lamb cutlets
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pea & Feta Salad
250g small snow peas, trimmed
250g sugar snap peas, trimmed
200g frozen baby peas
2 cups mint leaves
200g marinated feta, drained

METHOD:
Place, peppercorns, garlic, half the chilli and 1 teaspoon of salt in a mortar and pestle and pound until coarsely ground.  Add herbs and pound into a coarse paste. Stir in the olive oil and transfer to a large bowl.  Add the lamb, turning to coat well in the herb marinade.  Cover, then stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat a chargrill pan or BBQ to medium-high heat. Cook the lamb for 2-3 minutes each side for medium-rare or until cooked to your liking. Rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the pea and feta salad, blanch snow peas, sugar snap peas and baby peas in boiling salted water for 3 minutes or until just tender.  Drain, then refresh in cold water. Transfer to serving platter and top with mint leaves & feta.
Combine Dijon mustard, honey, lemon zest and juice and remaining chilli, then slowly whisk in extra virgin olive oil. Season.
Arrange lamb cutlets on top of the pea and feta salad, drizzle with the honey dressing and serve.

SUNDAY NIGHT STEAK

COMMENTS:
This recipe is adapted from Bill Granger's "Saturday Night Steak" in his book "Holiday". It is easily prepared in 20 minutes without much washing up so is fab for the end of a big weekend!

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS:
2 sirloin steaks, about 500g
4 red radishes, sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded & sliced
1/2 bunch mint, leaves picked
1/2 bunch coriander, leaves picked
handful snow peas, diagonally sliced
handful bean sprouts
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon soy sauce
juice & zest of 1 lime
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

METHOD:
Take the steaks out of the fridge 15 minutes before cooking. 

Pick coriander & mint leaves and set a tablespoon of each aside. Put radish, chilli, rest of mint & coriander leaves, snow peas and bean sprouts in a bowl. 

In a seperate bowl slowly add water to tahini until a smooth paste is formed then add soy sauce and lime juice and mix to combine.

Heat a pan over medium heat. Brush steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Cook steaks in pan to your liking then rest steaks for 10 minutes.  Pour any steak juices into tahini sauce then slice meat very finely.

Add meat to salad, dress with tahini sauce and mix with hands then serve in four shallow bowls. Top with lime zest and extra coriander & mint leaves.

CORIANDER & MAPLE SYRUP LAMB RACKS

COMMENTS:
You can't really go wrong with lamb racks as long as you don't overcook them. Better to check them a little early and put them back in. These racks by Bill Granger in Delicious Nov '11 issue are beautifully sweet thanks to the maple syrup with a kick from the chilli.  They are served with a tahini sauce. Ask your butcher to French trim the racks for you. Sumac is a berry which is dried and crushed. You can get it from Herbie's online.

SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup coriander seeds, lightly toasted, crushed
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt & pepper
2 * 9 cutlet French-trimmed lamb racks
2 teaspoons sumac
mint & coriander leaves to serve

Tahini Sauce
1/3 cup tahini
1 garlic clove crushed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
80mls warm water
sumac to serve 

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 200*C.  Place coriander seeds, chilli, ginger, garlic, maple syrup and lemon juice in a bowl, season and stir well to combine.  Place lamb racks in a shallow baking pan and rub with the marinade.  Cover and stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. 

Roast lamb, basting with cooking juices halfway through for 20-30 minutes for medium rare.  Rest, loosely cover with foil, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile for tahini sauce, combine tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and warm water in a bowl. Sprinkle with sumac. Set aside.

Cut lamb into cutlets and place on platter.  Drizzle a little tahini sauce over the lamb, then top with sumac and herbs.  Serve with remaining tahini sauce.

RIB EYE BEEF WITH CHIMICHURRI SAUCE, CORN, BEAN & TOMATO SALAD

COMMENTS:
This is a South American recipe from Lyndey Milan. The sauce can also be used with grilled or BBQ'd pork, chicken or fish.

SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS:
3 * 550g rib eye steaks on the bone (1 steak b/w 2 people)
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 corn cobs

Chimichurri Sauce:
1.5 cups flat leaf parsley
1.5 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
1 small lemon, juiced
1 eschallot, peeled
5 cloves garlic peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Bean and Tomato Salad:
1 * 425g can Mexican beans/pinto beans/red kidney beans/cannellini beans, drained
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 medium avocado, diced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil

METHOD:
Prepare Chimichurri sauce by processing all sauce ingredients in a food processor until fairly smooth.

Heat a griddle pan or large frying pan over high heat.  Season the beef with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil.  Sear for 2 minutes on each side then place in oven for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven, cover and rest for 10 minutes.

For salad, combine all salad ingredients. Season to taste and set aside.

Place corn in microwave proof dish, add water to half cover the corn and microwave on high for 5 minutes, turn over and microwave for another 5 minutes or until tender.  Season to taste and set aside.

To serve, carve rested beef into slices by slicing downwards.  Serve with Chimichurri sauce, corn and Bean and Tomato Salad.

HARISSA CRUSTED LAMB WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

COMMENTS:
This recipe came from a cooking course I attended with some friends from work in around 2005. It uses Harissa to coat the lamb which is a chilli paste from North Africa which marries very well with lamb.  I always keep a jar in my fridge.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS:
for lamb racks -
2 racks of lamb 6 cutlets each
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea  salt
2 tablespoons harissa paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup cup fresh thyme
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon sugar
freshly ground pepper
coriander leaves to serve

for roasted vegetables - 
6 cups of roughly chopped vegetables including carrot, zucchini, fennel, onion, parsnip, eggplant & sweet potato
12 black olives
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius.

Mince garlic with the sea salt to form a paste.  Combine this garlic paste with harissa, thyme, sun-dried tomatoes, oil & pepper.  Press mixture onto the racks of lamb, put into a roasting tin and leave aside at room temperature to marinate.

Toss vegetables in another roasting tin with olives, ground cumin and fennel, lemon juice, oil and sugar.  Season with salt and black pepper.

Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove foil, toss vegetables and return to oven uncovered.  Place lamb in the oven and bake both for another 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow lamb to rest.  Spoon vegetables onto plates and carve racks into individual cutlets and arrange on top of vegetables.

Garnish with freshly chopped coriander.


WARM SHREDDED LAMB SALAD WITH MINT & POMEGRANATE

This lamb is really delicious, so tender and no fuss with carving as you just pull it off the bone. A good dish for entertaining as it is cooked in advance and then rested for an hour before serving. See link to the recipe below.



MOROCCAN LAMB WITH TOMATO AND EGGPLANT SALAD

COMMENTS:
I am always drawn to Moroccan cooking because I LOVE cumin and coriander and the combination of sweet and spicy.  My kids really enjoyed this too.  Although you need to marinate the lamb for 2 hours or more, it is a fast and simple dish to prepare.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS:
Lamb Marinade - 
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cloves of garlic crushed/grated
1 tablespoon preserved lemon rind finely sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil

4 * 150g lamb back straps or streaks
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Salad -
4 long thin eggplants
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
3 tablespoons chopped coriander
1 long red chilli chopped & seeds removed
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil (extra)
4 large Roma tomatoes diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper

Harissa Yogurt -
1 tablespoon Harissa
3 tablespoons natural yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

To serve - 
fresh coriander leaves
zest of one lemon

METHOD:
Combine marinade in ceramic bowl, add lamb, combine & cover with plastic wrap then refridgerate for at least 2 hours, bring to room temperature 30 minutes before cooking.

Combine the Harissa yogurt ingredients.

For the salad, preheat the oven to 200*C. Cut the eggplant into 1cm disks, place on a lined baking tray and brush olive oil on both side.  Bake for 15 minutes then allow to cool slightly. 

Season the lamb with sea salt and pepper and cook in a frying pan for 4 minutes each side. Remove from heat, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Dice eggplant and place in bowl with parsley, coriander, chilli, paprika and cumin and stir to combine.  Place the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the eggplant mixture, as well as the tomatoes, salt and sugar.  Cook for 10 minutes then stir through lemon juice, vinegar and ground pepper. 

Slice the lamb on the diagonal then serve on top of the salad.  Top with some fresh coriander and the lemon zest and serve with Harissa Yogurt.



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Deb Crumpton | Reply 10.07.2012 21.43

Hi Sam... cant wait to test these on some dinner party guests, they all look fabulous. Please keep sending me updates. (My friend Lisa Ridgway passed this to me

Jude | Reply 07.05.2012 15.03

Hi Sam....my Kiwi friend loves your page....you will be in a lot of NZ homes soon! Jx

fiona | Reply 02.10.2011 14.41

Hi. Did the lamb yesterday. Used large leg instead of shoulder just because of the numbers. Delicious. Kids, adults loved it. Dog loved leftovers!thank you, Fx

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Latest comments

17.05 | 21:12

very nice

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18.02 | 07:27

i would like a small turkey breast and turkey neck recipe - not dietic

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30.07 | 18:59

Excellent salad recipes and not time consuming to prepare ,Ursula

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14.01 | 23:22

Hi Sam, I would love to receive updates for your fabulous blog. Keep up the great work!

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